Nano-Bio Interfaces: Design, Probe, Visualize, Manipulate

Date(s) - 10/07/2013
4:00 pm

Elena Rozhkova, Ph.D., Nanoscientist at Argonne National Laboratory


Interfacing of nanotechnology with biological sciences is cross-cutting field of research that is expected to overcome emerging challenges of civilization, including sustainable energy supply, information storage and advancing of medical technologies. Bionanotechnology is a multidisciplinary field directed to developing of novel nanoscale materials capable of probing, visualizing  as well as controlling and altering important biological pathways. On the other hand, understanding and replication of key natural mechanisms such as light-, magneto- and mechanosesitivity, signaling, energy and charge transfer is employed to engineer bio-inspired nanostructures applicable in practical devices.

The first part of the talk I will focus on development of photocatalytic nanobio hybrids. Semiconductor nanopartciles and biomolecules-based phoptocatalysts replicate natural photosystem and can be applyed for important practical tasks spanning from photodynamic cancer therapy [1-3] to energy production [4].

The second part of the talk I will highlight our results on development of magnetic materials for biological applications, namely bio-functionalized ferromagnetic disks for controlled magnetomechanical membrane actuation [5-7] and polymeric magnetomicelles for heat and drug delivery [8].

Manipulation of biological matter requires advanced methods of visualization with nanoscale precision. We have been employing Argonne Advanced Photon Source X-Ray fluorescence for advanced imaging of light-induced cellular red-ox events catalyzed by nano-bio hybrids with submicron (Microprobe) and sub-100 nm (Nanoprobe) spatial resolution. Further, X-Ray fluorescence was applied to visualize focused platinum complex drug delivery from the magnetomicelles across eukaryotic membrane to subcellular compartments associated with cellular signaling and programmed cell death at resolution less than 100 nm. Finally, we applied the same technique for assessment of chemical stability and biocompatibility of iron-nickel ferromagnetic disks.