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BioNanoInteract SRC aims to acquire a durable, fundamental understanding of nanoparticle interactions with living systems, and thereby learn how to:

  • avoid harming people through the application of nanotechnology (nanosafety)
  • deliver medicine / treatment to new sites in the body and cure people (nanomedicine).

Confocal microscopy image of the distribution of nanoparticles (green) between two daughter cells during cell division (nuclei stained blue), following nanoparticle uptake and localisation in lysosomes (red). Scale bar 20 μm.

Nanomedicine (and Nanodiagnostics) recognizes the capacity of nanomaterials to diagnose and treat most of the remaining intractable disease classes (viral, genetic, cancer). 

Nanosafety acknowledges that there exists potential for new, serious and unpredictable diseases, originating from the interaction of such small-scale objects with living organisms.

Both are based on the observation that nanoscale objects are able to gain access to, and operate within, all parts of the body (including the brain), and within cells. 

BioNanoInteract SRC aims to acquire a durable, fundamental understanding of how nanoparticles interact with living systems, by correlating nanoparticle uptake with sub-cellular localisation and subsequent functional and signalling impacts.  By understanding the bionanointeractions, we will be able to ensure nanosafety by design, and develop therapeutic applications of nanomaterials.

BioNanoInteract SRC is a collaboration between

Science Foundation Ireland


PI and Co-PIs

Postdoctoral Fellows

PhD students

Funded Investigators

Trinity College Dublin



Funded Investigator

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Dr. Maria Jose Santos-Martinez
  • Dr. Bashir Mohamed
  • Dr. Jennifer Conroy
  • Dr. Joanna McCarthy
  • Dr. Despina Bazou

PhD students

  • Malgorzata Nowostawska
  • Stephen Paul Samuel
  • Yvonne Williams
  • Martha Motherway Gildea

University College Cork



Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Dr. Lan Chen
  • Dr. Kamil Rahme

PhD students

  • Atul Thorat

National University of Ireland, Maynooth


Funded Investigator

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Dr. Luke O’Shaughnessey

University of Ulster


Collaborating PI

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Dr. Ashley Taylor
  • Dr. Andreas Elsaesser

Former team members

  • Dr. Laragh Tormey

Industry partners

  • Intel
  • Glantreo
  • Biotrin
  • Cellix
  • ThermoScientific
  • DePuy

Representative Publications

Platform 1

  • Chen L., Zhang W. H., Ju Xu, Tanner D. A., Morris M. A. Mesopore constrictions derived from the substitutionally co-packed SBA-15’. Microporous & Mesoporous Materials, 2010, 129, 179-188.
  • Davies G.L., Barry A., Gun'ko Y.K., Preparation and size optimisation of silica nanoparticles using statistical analyses.  Chemical Physics Letters, 2009, 468, 239-244.

Platform 2

  • Walczyk, D., Bombelli, F.B., Monopoli, M.P., Lynch, I., Dawson, K.A. What the cell "sees" in bionanoscience. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2010, 132, 5761-5768.
  • Lynch, I., Salvati, A., Dawson, K.A. Protein-nanoparticle interactions: What does the cell see? Nature Nanotechnology 2009, 4, 546-547.
  • Lundqvist, M., Stigler, J., Cedervall, T., Elia, G., Lynch I., Dawson K. Nanoparticle Size and Surface Properties determine the Protein Corona with possible implications for Biological Impacts. PNAS, 2008, 105, 14265-14270.

Platform 3

  • Byrne F., Prina-Mello A., Whelan A., Mohamed B. M., Davies A, Gun’ko Y K, Coey J. M. D., Volkov Y. High content analysis of the biocompatibility of nickel nanowires.  Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 2009, 321, 1341-1345.
  • Williams Y., Sukhanova A., Nowostawska M., Davies A. M, Mitchell S., Oleinikov V., Gun'ko Y., Nabiev I.,  Kelleher D., Volkov Y.,  Probing Cell-Type-Specific Intracellular Nanoscale Barriers Using Size-Tuned Quantum Dots. Small, 2009, 5, 2581-2588.
  • Shapero, K., Fenaroli, F., Lynch, I., Cottell, D.C. Salvati, A., Dawson, K.A. Time and Space Resolved Uptake Study of Silica Nanoparticles by Human Cells, Molecular BioSystems, 2010, In press.

Platform 4

  • Slavov, S, Dawson, KA.;  Correlation signature of the macroscopic states of the gene regulatory network in cancer, Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences USA; 106, 2009, pp. 4079-4084.
  • Long A., Volkov Y. High content analysis approach for targeted gene silencing and probing nanoscale cell responses. European Pharmaceutical Reviews, 2009, 1, 22-30.

Platform 5

  • Li X., Radomski A., Corrigan O.I., Tajber L., De Sousa Menezes F., Endter S., Medina C., Radomski M.W. The Platelet Compatibility of Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA), Chitosan and PLGA- Chitosan Nanoparticles. Nanomedicine, 2009, 4, 735-746.
  • Cabaleiro-Lago C, Lynch I, Dawson KA, Linse S. Inhibition of IAPP and IAPP(20-29) fibrillation by polymeric nanoparticles. Langmuir. 2010, 26, 3453-3461.