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Functionalisation at Nanoscale to Enhance Specific Biological Activities

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Nanotechnology has emerged as potential and attractive manufacturing tool for addressing the challenges faced in regenerative medicine and drug delivery. Controlling and manipulating biomaterials at the nanoscale through nanotechnology approaches has enabled to the design and manufacture of suitable cellular ...

Nanotechnology has emerged as potential and attractive manufacturing tool for addressing the challenges faced in regenerative medicine and drug delivery. Controlling and manipulating biomaterials at the nanoscale through nanotechnology approaches has enabled to the design and manufacture of suitable cellular environments, bioengineering of functional tissues, and the development of effective drug delivery systems. In tissue engineering, nanotechnologies have allowed the mimicking of the nanoscale detail of the cell's environment through controlling the surface chemistry and topography of materials, generating 3D cellular scaffolds and regulating cell-cell interactions. In particular, reproducing the complexity of the cellular environment at nanoscale, from the ECM structure to the presence of cytokines and intracellular signaling, is a fundamental activity of manufacturing biologically functional tissues. The recent developments in nanotechnologies have focused on the: (1) fabrication of 3D nanoscale geometric features, and (2) modification of biomaterial surfaces via i.e. self-assembly or peptide grafting in order to engineer functional tissues. These technologies have led also to advances in high-throughput screening, allowing a quick and effective detection of a library of biomaterials and drugs screening for enhancing specific biological responses. In drug delivery, controlling the size and geometry of drug nanocarriers have enabled the tunability of biopharmaceutical parameters such as pharmacodynamics, cell-specific targeting, and bioavailability enhancement. Furthermore, nanotechnologies have a key role in the design of in-vivo like environment such as organ-on-a-chip which could have a high impact in the study of incurable pathologies such as cancer or neurodegenerative diseases.

In this research topic, we encourage engineers, chemists, materials scientist, physics and other researchers active in this multidisciplinary field to exchange ideas by presenting recent developments in the synthesis, characterisation and manufacturing of biomaterials at nanoscale. Research areas covered in this special issue include control of surface bio-properties through: the synthesis and manipulation of nanomaterials, chemical bio-functionalisation and molecules self-assembly, lithography, surface patterning and imaging, nanotubes, nanoparticle, surface-mediated cell response (cell adhesion, migration and recruitment) for giving a current overview of their practical applications in nanomedicine and regenerative medicine, high-throughput screening, drug delivery and organ-on-chip development.


Keywords: Nanoscale, surface topography, bio-functionalisation, drug delivery, cell response


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