CMB&RM seminar: Sandra Vranic "Cellular interactions with graphene based materials – biocompatibility and potential for intracellular delivery of nucleic acids"
|Dates:||24 May 2019|
|Times:||13:00 - 14:00|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Current University students|
The interest for graphene and its translation into commercial products have been expanding at high pace during the last few years. The potential of graphene oxide (GO) to act as an intracellular carrier of small interfering RNA (siRNA) has so far been explored as a component of more complex delivery systems based on other materials, predominantly positively charged polymers, already used as gene delivery vectors but whose biocompatibility is far from ideal. We established toxicological profile of graphene oxide in human epithelial cells by interrogating the effect of two key parameters: lateral dimensions of the material and coating with proteins. Exploiting intrinsic fluorescence of graphene oxide (GO) and using confocal live-cell imaging, the behaviour of the cells in response to the material was visualized in real time. Subsequently, we investigated whether bare GO could be utilized as siRNA carrier in vitro. Its performance was compared to that of a benchmark, lipid-based transfection agent. GO was found to form stable complexes with siRNA, in spite of unfavourable electrostatic interactions. GO delivered siRNA rapidly, however Lipofectamine® exhibited an entirely different pattern of intracellular transport and was able to sustain intracellular level of nucleic acids for longer, leading to more efficient gene knock-down. We provide previously unreported evidence that GO (without any further functionalization) is able to act as a flat, 2-dimensional siRNA carrier, able to transport short nucleic acids into the cells.
Sandra obtained her BSc Degree in Molecular Biology and Physiology at the University of Belgrade, Serbia in 2007. After graduation she completed her MRes Degree in Toxicology at University Paris Diderot – Paris 7, France. She pursued her PhD in Toxicology in the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Responses to Xenobiotics at University Paris Diderot – Paris 7. She focused on interactions of manufactured engineered nanoparticles with cells, especially on the mechanisms of their internalization and subsequent cellular effects. After her PhD, Sandra obtained Japanese Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) postdoctoral fellowship at Nagoya University and Tokyo University of Science in Japan, where she focused on the effects of silica nanoparticles on mice and Zebra fish. Sandra joined the Nanomedicine Lab in January 2015 as a Marie Curie Research Fellow under the RADDEL ITN project studying nanocapsules filled with radiometals aimed for biomedical applications in the areas of cancer diagnosis and therapy. She worked as a lead scientist in Graphene Flagship and 2D Health projects, and currently acts as a PI of EU funded Horizon 2020 project BIORIMA. In November 2018 she was appointed as Lecturer in Nano-Cell Biology. Her team aims to investigate cellular and molecular biology of graphene and other 2D materials in order to discover new therapeutic applications of these materials.
Role: Lecturer in Nano-Cell Biology
Organisation: University of Manchester
Travel and Contact Information
Michael Smith Building