Nanotechnology Project

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Environment, Health and Safety Research

Biologically Compatible Engineered Nanoparticles to Prevent UV-Radiation Induced Damage

Project Information

Principal InvestigatorSudipta Seal
InstitutionUniversity of Central Florida
Project URLView
Relevance to ImplicationsSome
Class of NanomaterialEngineered Nanomaterials
Impact SectorHuman Health
Broad Research Categories Hazard
NNI identifier

Funding Information

Anticipated Total Funding$129,897.00
Annual Funding$43,299.00
Funding SourceNSF
Funding MechanismExtramural
Funding SectorGovernment
Start Year2005
Anticipated End Year2008


The goal of the proposed research is focused on determining whether this interaction is specific to ceria nano-particles, and to obtain biochemical evidence in support of this hypothesis to explain the observed effects on human cells. The specific aims are to: 1.) engineering of ultrafine rare earth nanoparticles and subsequent material characterization, 2.) Determine the nature of the interactions of the particles with the human cells by microscopy and 3.) Determine the changes in behavior of the nanoparticles upon exposure to reactive oxygen species. The proposed studies will begin to pinpoint the molecular mechanism by which cerium oxide nanoparticles and similar class of rare earths can protect human cells against UV-induced cell death. The current understanding of interactions between these nanoparticles and human cells is sorely lacking. Little is known about the interaction of these small particles and mammalian systems in terms of toxicity to harness the beneficial aspects of these engineered nanostructures in combating environmental pollution. As interest in nano-scale synthesis of therapeutics increases, a basic understanding of the interactions of metal oxide particles is fundamental to determine potential hazards and risks to exposure to these particles, even in light of the potential benefits demonstrated in the cultured cells.

Broader Impact: The use of nano-scale devices promises to be the key to future advances in engineering and medicine. Fundamental knowledge of how human cells interact with nanoparticles thus has very broad impact into the development of nano-scale devices and therapeutics. The training of graduate students will be strongly interdisciplinary - spanning the fields of materials engineering, cell biology, biochemistry. The interdisciplinary nature of the project is possible because of the broad training of the two principal investigators and will facilitate collaboration between these investigators in future research. The proposed research will strengthen the training of graduate students at the University of Central Florida.