Research Topic

Micro, Nano and Molecular Mechanisms of Cross-Domain Communication to Tackle Environmental Problems

About this Research Topic

Cross-domain communication focuses on mechanisms that connect different fields and scales. The suggested topic is connected to the idea of the symposium Socratic lectures (http://www.lkbf.si/) from the Laboratory for Clinical Biophysics that took place online December 11-13th 2020 with three sections: Environmental pollution, Cellular nanovesicles and Membrane biophysics, which culminated in joining all three topics and seeking connections between them.

Revealing nano-scale mechanisms in environmental pollution includes assessment of particular materials and substances in samples. Particularly emergent is a problem of nano and microplastics and its effect on various microorganisms such as microalgae and bacteria. New tools and methods for assessment are being developed.

Cellular vesicles are membrane-enclosed cellular fragments that are shed off all types of cells and can be up-taken by other cells. Thereby they represent a communication mechanism between tissues within the same organism, between different organisms and between the environment and an organism. They are expected to play a role in causing and solving environmental pollution problems. In turn, the effects of environmental parameters and in particular of environmental pollution on vesiculation of cell membranes is also of interest.

Membrane biophysics considers basic mechanisms underlying the above issues. It provides methods that can address and master the membrane vesiculation, adhesion, and stability of self-assembled structures. A particularly strong tool is mathematical modeling which helps to outline the relevant parameters and to understand their effects. The topics of interest may therefore be wide provided that a mechanism connecting different systems or scales is addressed.

We think that problems on the global scale should be addressed at micro and nanoscale, therefore we are putting forward an effort to connect and complement the knowledge from the suggested topics to use the knowledge on the micro-scale and form a better view on macroscopic and global scale problems (such as health maintenance in organisms and environment, treatment of various diseases and solving the environmental pollution problems). In particular, we would like to promote the use of life-friendly methods (theoretical modeling and other biophysical methods) to address large scale problems. Furthermore, we would like to promote collaboration between the authors from the topics considered by outlining the mechanisms that connect the respective fields. We plan to extend these activities within the Socratic lectures annually.

This Research Topic can cover, but is not limited to, the following areas:

• Environmental pollution problems targeted by micro, nano and molecular mechanisms
• Health maintenance problems targeted by micro, nano and molecular mechanisms
• Studies of extracellular vesicles
• Cell and artificial membrane features e.g. vesiculation and adhesion
• Membrane shape and composition issues
• Development of experimental and theoretical methods to study micro, nano and molecular mechanisms of cross-domain communication
• Any other scope that enlightens problems of cross-domain communication

Profs. Pocsfalvi and Kralj-Iglič hold several international patents on the topic of extracellular vesicles. All other Topic Editors declare no potential competing interests in relation to this Research Topic subject.


Keywords: Environmental Pollution, Extracellular Vesicles, Membrane Biophysics, Cross-Domain Communication, Intracellular Communication


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.

Cross-domain communication focuses on mechanisms that connect different fields and scales. The suggested topic is connected to the idea of the symposium Socratic lectures (http://www.lkbf.si/) from the Laboratory for Clinical Biophysics that took place online December 11-13th 2020 with three sections: Environmental pollution, Cellular nanovesicles and Membrane biophysics, which culminated in joining all three topics and seeking connections between them.

Revealing nano-scale mechanisms in environmental pollution includes assessment of particular materials and substances in samples. Particularly emergent is a problem of nano and microplastics and its effect on various microorganisms such as microalgae and bacteria. New tools and methods for assessment are being developed.

Cellular vesicles are membrane-enclosed cellular fragments that are shed off all types of cells and can be up-taken by other cells. Thereby they represent a communication mechanism between tissues within the same organism, between different organisms and between the environment and an organism. They are expected to play a role in causing and solving environmental pollution problems. In turn, the effects of environmental parameters and in particular of environmental pollution on vesiculation of cell membranes is also of interest.

Membrane biophysics considers basic mechanisms underlying the above issues. It provides methods that can address and master the membrane vesiculation, adhesion, and stability of self-assembled structures. A particularly strong tool is mathematical modeling which helps to outline the relevant parameters and to understand their effects. The topics of interest may therefore be wide provided that a mechanism connecting different systems or scales is addressed.

We think that problems on the global scale should be addressed at micro and nanoscale, therefore we are putting forward an effort to connect and complement the knowledge from the suggested topics to use the knowledge on the micro-scale and form a better view on macroscopic and global scale problems (such as health maintenance in organisms and environment, treatment of various diseases and solving the environmental pollution problems). In particular, we would like to promote the use of life-friendly methods (theoretical modeling and other biophysical methods) to address large scale problems. Furthermore, we would like to promote collaboration between the authors from the topics considered by outlining the mechanisms that connect the respective fields. We plan to extend these activities within the Socratic lectures annually.

This Research Topic can cover, but is not limited to, the following areas:

• Environmental pollution problems targeted by micro, nano and molecular mechanisms
• Health maintenance problems targeted by micro, nano and molecular mechanisms
• Studies of extracellular vesicles
• Cell and artificial membrane features e.g. vesiculation and adhesion
• Membrane shape and composition issues
• Development of experimental and theoretical methods to study micro, nano and molecular mechanisms of cross-domain communication
• Any other scope that enlightens problems of cross-domain communication

Profs. Pocsfalvi and Kralj-Iglič hold several international patents on the topic of extracellular vesicles. All other Topic Editors declare no potential competing interests in relation to this Research Topic subject.


Keywords: Environmental Pollution, Extracellular Vesicles, Membrane Biophysics, Cross-Domain Communication, Intracellular Communication


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

26 March 2021 Abstract
24 July 2021 Manuscript

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

26 March 2021 Abstract
24 July 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

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

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