Research Topic

Model Organisms in Nanoscience

About this Research Topic

Model organisms represent an invaluable resource for fundamental and applied research, allowing prediction studies, modeling, and the identification of action mechanisms. Classically used for biomedical studies, model organisms are progressively entering many disciplines within the nanoscience world, from drug delivery to bioelectronics and environmental science, assisting the design, testing and validation of nanoparticles and nanodevices. The different chemical compositions and physical properties, mostly dependent on the nanoscale dimensions, require proper testing and validation. Additionally, the evaluation of potential toxicological aspects of nanomaterials intentionally and unintentionally exposed to humans and to the environment needs to be evaluated. A critical step for this evaluation is the selection of the model organism most appropriate to test a given nanomaterial, and enabling the translation of the results from fundamental science to clinical use or for environmental protection. Distinct experimental animal models may provide different responses leading to unexpected results, controversial interpretations of data and, even worse, the inefficacy of trials, thus supporting our choice to provide this Research Topic as a systematic review to help scientists select the more appropriate cell line or organism model for their research. Moreover, a perspective on micro- and nanoengineered in vitro platform models will assist the development of novel nanomedicines, describing new approaches for modulation of cellular microenvironment, mimic tissue settings, and assist organ-on-chip design.

This Research Topic is conceived for both basic and applied research in nanoscience where the investigators need preliminary experimentation in vivo. Although first data on nanoparticle/nano-microdevices functionality and toxicity are routinely achieved in vitro, which in vivo model should then be chosen before clinical experimentation, or for the regulation of waste treatment for a nanotechnology factory? The scope of this Research Topic is to provide the reader the criteria of selection a given model for a particular investigation, along with guidance to the literature for a more detailed understanding of its biology.

The contribution of model organisms to the development of advanced materials is a comprehensive source for the use of animal and plant models in different fields of nanoscience, with particular emphasis on those impacting human and environmental health. Original Research articles and Reviews will be dedicated to several model systems, with the final aim to illustrate their role in developing and testing new nano and micro-structured advanced materials.

With the contributions of multidisciplinary experts each contribution or review may focus on a biological model providing:

• Basic biology
• The rationale for its use for development of new devices
• A wide review of experiments or a case study with relevant interest, proving the importance of the model in the research field of nanobiotechnology.
• A short description of experimental protocols (delivery route, dosage and exposure) along with advanced technologies employed/developed by the authors.
• A short “critical section” including the potential benefits/disadvantages according to the consolidate experience of single chapter authors.
• Laws, bioethics and animal welfare aspects
• Advanced imaging techniques
• Nanomaterials as actuators
• Commercial sources of laboratory models
• Model organisms may include: Invertebrates models (cnidarians, nematodes, fruit flies, mussels, planktonic crustaceans, etc); Vertebrates models (zebrafish, frog, mouse, rabbit, dog, pig, primates); Plants model species and the most valuable crops ; 3D cell culture, organ-on -chip.

Important Note: All submissions/contributions to this Research Topic must be in line with the scope of the journal/section they are submitted to. While authors are encouraged to draw from other disciplines to enrich their papers where relevant, they must ensure papers fall within the scope of the journal/section, as expressed in its mission statement.

Dr. de la Fuente holds patents on metal nanoparticles and Dr. Laromaine has patents on particle aggregates and paper scaffolds. Additionally, Dr. Baptista has a patent on optical sensors and is a Co-founder of the start-up Nano4 Global dedicated to molecular nanodiagnostics. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic theme.


Keywords: Functional Materials and Devices, Biomaterials, Model Organisms, Nanoparticles, Nanomedicine


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Model organisms represent an invaluable resource for fundamental and applied research, allowing prediction studies, modeling, and the identification of action mechanisms. Classically used for biomedical studies, model organisms are progressively entering many disciplines within the nanoscience world, from drug delivery to bioelectronics and environmental science, assisting the design, testing and validation of nanoparticles and nanodevices. The different chemical compositions and physical properties, mostly dependent on the nanoscale dimensions, require proper testing and validation. Additionally, the evaluation of potential toxicological aspects of nanomaterials intentionally and unintentionally exposed to humans and to the environment needs to be evaluated. A critical step for this evaluation is the selection of the model organism most appropriate to test a given nanomaterial, and enabling the translation of the results from fundamental science to clinical use or for environmental protection. Distinct experimental animal models may provide different responses leading to unexpected results, controversial interpretations of data and, even worse, the inefficacy of trials, thus supporting our choice to provide this Research Topic as a systematic review to help scientists select the more appropriate cell line or organism model for their research. Moreover, a perspective on micro- and nanoengineered in vitro platform models will assist the development of novel nanomedicines, describing new approaches for modulation of cellular microenvironment, mimic tissue settings, and assist organ-on-chip design.

This Research Topic is conceived for both basic and applied research in nanoscience where the investigators need preliminary experimentation in vivo. Although first data on nanoparticle/nano-microdevices functionality and toxicity are routinely achieved in vitro, which in vivo model should then be chosen before clinical experimentation, or for the regulation of waste treatment for a nanotechnology factory? The scope of this Research Topic is to provide the reader the criteria of selection a given model for a particular investigation, along with guidance to the literature for a more detailed understanding of its biology.

The contribution of model organisms to the development of advanced materials is a comprehensive source for the use of animal and plant models in different fields of nanoscience, with particular emphasis on those impacting human and environmental health. Original Research articles and Reviews will be dedicated to several model systems, with the final aim to illustrate their role in developing and testing new nano and micro-structured advanced materials.

With the contributions of multidisciplinary experts each contribution or review may focus on a biological model providing:

• Basic biology
• The rationale for its use for development of new devices
• A wide review of experiments or a case study with relevant interest, proving the importance of the model in the research field of nanobiotechnology.
• A short description of experimental protocols (delivery route, dosage and exposure) along with advanced technologies employed/developed by the authors.
• A short “critical section” including the potential benefits/disadvantages according to the consolidate experience of single chapter authors.
• Laws, bioethics and animal welfare aspects
• Advanced imaging techniques
• Nanomaterials as actuators
• Commercial sources of laboratory models
• Model organisms may include: Invertebrates models (cnidarians, nematodes, fruit flies, mussels, planktonic crustaceans, etc); Vertebrates models (zebrafish, frog, mouse, rabbit, dog, pig, primates); Plants model species and the most valuable crops ; 3D cell culture, organ-on -chip.

Important Note: All submissions/contributions to this Research Topic must be in line with the scope of the journal/section they are submitted to. While authors are encouraged to draw from other disciplines to enrich their papers where relevant, they must ensure papers fall within the scope of the journal/section, as expressed in its mission statement.

Dr. de la Fuente holds patents on metal nanoparticles and Dr. Laromaine has patents on particle aggregates and paper scaffolds. Additionally, Dr. Baptista has a patent on optical sensors and is a Co-founder of the start-up Nano4 Global dedicated to molecular nanodiagnostics. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic theme.


Keywords: Functional Materials and Devices, Biomaterials, Model Organisms, Nanoparticles, Nanomedicine


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

19 January 2021 Manuscript
18 March 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

19 January 2021 Manuscript
18 March 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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