The last decades have been characterized by a great interest on nanotechnology applied to biology and medicine. Nanoparticles play a leading role thanks to their novel properties relative to their bulk material counterparts. Within TransformerSurfaces the training-through-research is targeted at synthesizing silica nanoparticles, coated with a molecular monolayer that can in turn be reversibly functionalized with different ligands following the principles of the Dynamic Combinatorial Chemistry (DCC). The goal is to obtain a new surface suitable for a larger range of possible functionalization. In particular, taking inspiration from the striped gold nanoparticles that have been recently discovered in the group, this project is targeted to functionalize the outermost coating of the silica nanoparticles with higher order patterns, especially stripes. In fact, these ‘striped’ nanoparticles are capable of penetrating cell membranes without porating (creating transient holes associated with leakage and cytotoxicity) as viruses do. Additionally by combining the biocompatibility of silica with the low toxic effect given by the optimization of the ligands arrangement on the surface, we aim to erase the toxicity of nanoparticles.
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