A Priority Programme of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft


  • Professor Dr. Katharina Landfester
    Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research
    Universität Ulm
  • Professor Dr. Gerd Ulrich Nienhaus
    Institut für Angewandte Physik und Center for Functional Nanostructures (CFN)
    Geb. 30.23 (Physikhochhaus)
    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • Professor Dr. Thomas Simmet
    Institut für Naturheilkunde und Klinische Pharmakologie
    Universitätsklinikum Ulm
    Universität Ulm
  • Privatdozent Dr. Volker Mailänder
    III. Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik
    Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
1 Phase 1: until Decembre 2010
2 Phase 2: since January 2011

Influence of Functionalized Polymeric Nanoparticles of Different Size, Material and Functionalization on Differentiation, Inflammation, Proliferation, Apoptosis and Interaction with Cellular Compartments and Proteins

Sets of polymeric nanoparticles of defined parameters concerning size, type of polymer and surface functionality containing a fluorescent marker will be synthesized and characterized. With advanced fluorescence microscopy techniques, we will explore in detail the uptake mechanisms by the cell and their dependencies on the physical properties of the nanoparticle (size, shape) and its surface chemistry (chemical functions, charge, and polarity). We will analyze in detail how nanoparticles are processed within the cell (transport mechanisms, association with organelles, degradation), and responses of the cell to nanoparticle incorporation. These studies will be done by using time-resolved spinning disk confocal microscopy on cultured cells provided by the Mailänder/Simmet groups, complemented by 4Pi-confocal experiments with ultra-high spatial resolution on fixed cells. With these experiments, we aim to achieve a mechanistic description, in molecular terms, of the response of cultured cells to nanoparticles, which is a first important step towards an understanding of the effects of nanoparticles on the entire organism. The inflammatory process is vital to the survival of all complex organisms and plays a fundamental role in health and disease. Antigen-presenting and phagocytosing monocytic cells are pivotal for inflammation and host defence. On this background it is very important to gain insight not only in i) the interaction between distinctly designed nanoparticles and monocytic cells, but also to identify ii) possible target molecules, iii) fundamental biochemical mechanisms, and iv) cell functions that may be targeted by nanoparticles.