Issues in Nanosafety and Nanomedicine

DIPC Seminars

Giancarlo Franzese, Departament de Física Fonamental, Facultat de Física, Universitat de Barcelona
Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC).Paseo Manuel de Lardizabal, 4 (nearby the Facultad de Quimica), Donostia
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Issues in Nanosafety and Nanomedicine “Issues in Nanosafety and Nanomedicine" Prof. Giancarlo Franzese Departament de Física Fonamental, Facultat de Física, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 647, 08028 Barcelona, Spain. E-mail: []( Abstract. Nanomedicine (and Nanodiagnostics) recognize the capacity to treat (and diagnose) most of the remaining intractable disease classes (viral, genetic, cancer). They are based on the central observation that objects of nanoscopic size can (uniquely) gain access to, and operate in all parts of the body (including the brain), and within cells. Nanosafety acknowledges that there exists potential for new, serious and unpredictable diseases originating from the interaction of such small-scale objects with living organisms. There have been, as yet, limited numbers of clearly identified hazards from early phase nanoparticles, but caution is being shown worldwide in developing strategies to address the issues. It is also becoming increasingly clear that Nanomedicine and Nanosafety will rely on the same fundamentally new scientific enterprise, based on understanding (and in the medium term, predicting) the interactions between nanoscale objects and living systems. Indeed, results from experimental projects have produced extensive experimental information that now needs to be integrated in early stage computation models. Early experimental data now begins to clarify the basic scientific issues, and it is clear that we are at the dawn of a new interdisciplinary science (bionanointeractions). Besides crossing the traditional scientific domains (chemistry, physics, molecular and cell biology, biomedicine, engineering, and toxicology) this field will above all require a radical shift of scientific paradigm such has rarely been seen in contiguous fields for a generation. The implications of this are deep, and can hardly be overstated. All the evidence we have suggests that we must return to fundamentals in this arena, and model these new processes at multiple levels of description (nanoparticles surface, cell, biological barriers) in order to develop a model that can usefully integrate emerging biological in vitro and in vivo data. We show how multi- scale simulations approaches are helpful to understand and control the basic mechanisms, in the framework of our recent FP7 Collaborative Project ``Modelling the basis and kinetics of nanoparticle cellular interaction and transport'' (NanoTransKinetics) of the ``Modelling toxicity behavior of engineered nanoparticles'' call. We conclude that any attempt to press the nano-organism interaction into such a macroscopic ADME (Adsorption, Digestion, Metabolism, Excretion) framework that is not founded on the appropriate microscopic principles will fail because the conceptual framework is the wrong shape.