State-of-the-art understanding of the interactions between nanomaterials and proteins, cells, DNA and other biological surfaces is reviewed online this week in Nature Materials.The review provides an analysis of how these interactions determine biocompatibility and set a framework for directing future research that combines nanotechnology with biological systems.
Nanomaterials are increasingly coming into contact with people and the environment, and understanding how they interact with biological systems is essential to ensure their safe use. Andre Nel and colleagues explain how the size, shape and structure of both the nanomaterial and biological surfaces influence the physicochemical reactions at an interface that is constantly changing. Focusing on nanoparticles in tissue culture and other biological media, the authors discuss the effects of the fundamental forces on processes such as cellular uptake.
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