Marco Monopoli

The overall objective of WP5 is to clarify the ‘biological identity’ of ENMs before and after they have entered into cells or organisms so that the relationship between the ENM surface (biomolecule corona composition) and mechanisms of toxicity (identified in WP7-10) can be understood.

As soon as nanomaterials enter complex environments, such as tissue culture medium, blood plasma etc. they become surrounded by biomolecules with which they may strongly bind, forming a ‘corona’ that influence their biological fate, while their surface remains cloaked.

WP5’s activities are focused on the study of these interactions in order to evaluate the behaviour of nanoparticles when engaging with living systems, cellular barriers and specific receptors. Firstly, the dispersion state of nanomaterials are characterised prior to and after the exposure to complex media. Secondly, methods have been developed to isolate and characterise the subsequently formed complexes with physicochemical and proteomics techniques to identify and understand the impact of the biomolecular corona