Understanding the rules of immune cell-nanoparticle interactions

Project Summary

A key gap in the field is (a) a consensus on a framework of how to study nanoparticle – cell interactions and (b) a comprehensive matrix to carefully dissect the physico-chemical properties of nanoparticles and how that influences their interaction with immune cells.

Chief Investigator, Professor Frank Caruso (Melbourne) and CBNS researchers, Mr Matthew Faria (Melbourne) and Dr Mattias Björnmalm (Melbourne), published a thoughtful article on this fundamental gap in the field during 2016. The CBNS is perhaps the only group worldwide with the collective range of materials, immunology and computational biology expertise to address these issues.

A range of CBNS researchers across all nodes are now preparing matrices of particles where particular characteristics of the particle are minimally changed, including but not limited to size, charge, surface chemistry, shape, and elasticity. We are now comparing particles head-to-head for their ability to be taken up by immune cells and activate immune cells as potential future candidate vaccines.

To date, we have glimpsed the exciting potential of this work through examination of individual properties, including size, charge and surface chemistry.