A Priority Programme of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft


  • ¹ Professor Dr. Ulrike Beisiegel
    Institut für Biochemie und Molekularbiologie II : Molekulare Zellbiologie
    Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
    Universität Hamburg
  • Professor Dr. Alexander Eychmüller
    Fachrichtung Chemie und Lebensmittelchemie
    Fachgebiet Physikalische Chemie und Elektrochemie
    Technische Universität Dresden
  • ² Professor Dr. Jörg Heeren
    Institut für Biochemie und Molekularbiologie II
    Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
  • ² Privatdozent Dr. Peter Nielsen
    Institut für Biochemie und Molekularbiologie II
    Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
1 Phase 1: until Decembre 2010
2 Phase 2: since January 2011

Hepatic Processing and Biological Responses to Nanocrystals in vivo

Quantum dots (QD) are representatives of a new class of nanomaterials. These materials in general and semiconductor nanoparticles in particular are promising candidates bearing novel properties for applications in engineering and medicine. Little is known yet about the interaction of this novel class of materials with biological systems and the safety aspects arising from these interactions.
One goal in medical applications of nanoparticles is their use as tools to either label special cells or deliver drugs to particular tissues. Therefore, they are likely to affect cellular processes including those mediating uptake, intracellular storage or processing and degradation of extracellular materials. Nanoparticles are expected to interact with the cellular machinery at the level of their physical dimensions being in the size range of biological macromolecules. The intracellular fate of the nanoparticles will determine their specific toxicity.
Since the surface of the particles determines the cellular interaction and subsequently its intracellular pathway we are going to study hydrophilic and hydrophobic semiconductor QDs with respect to their interaction with liver and adipose cells. Both tissues are characterised by a special metabolic activity and both are of potential relevance in storage of the respective nanomaterials. Therefore, they are expected to be a relevant model system.