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Université de Fribourg

A hydrofluoric acid-free method to dissolve and quantify silica nanoparticles in aqueous and solid matrices

Bossert, David ; Urban, Dominic A. ; Maceroni, Mattia ; Ackermann-Hirschi, Liliane ; Haeni, Laetitia ; Yajan, Phattadon ; Spuch-Calvar, Miguel ; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara ; Rodriguez-Lorenzo, Laura ; Petri-Fink, Alke ; Schwab, Fabienne

In: Scientific Reports, 2019, vol. 9, no. 1, p. 7938

As the commercial use of synthetic amorphous silica nanomaterials (SiO2-NPs) increases, their effects on the environment and human health have still not been explored in detail. An often-insurmountable obstacle for SiO2-NP fate and hazard research is the challenging analytics of solid particulate silica species, which involves toxic and corrosive hydrofluoric acid (HF). We therefore developed...

Université de Fribourg

Structure and sedimentation kinetics of dense suspensions of fibroblast cells

Zenuni, Arbnor ; Zhang, Chi ; Haeni, Laetitia ; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara ; Scheffold, Frank

In: CHIMIA International Journal for Chemistry, 2019, vol. 73, no. 1, p. 43–46

We investigate the structure and the dynamics of dense suspensions of NIH 3T3 fibroblast cells. Using two-photon microscopy we obtain three dimensional (3D) images from which the size and the packing structure of the dense cell suspensions can be extracted. In addition, we analyse the global time-dependent behaviour of the suspensions by time-lapse measurements of cell sedimentation. Since...

Université de Fribourg

Not just fundamental research: education, equal opportunities, knowledge and technology transfer, and communication at the nccr bio-inspired materials

Capper, Scott ; Haskal, Eliav ; Kilbinger, Andreas ; Montero de Espinosa, Lucas ; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara ; Rüegg, Curzio ; Weder, Christoph

In: CHIMIA International Journal for Chemistry, 2019, vol. 73, no. 1, p. 86–89

Besides conducting excellent fundamental research in domains of strategic importance, the National Centers of Competence in Research (NCCRs) also aim to become centers of reference for education, equal opportunities, and knowledge and technology transfer. These activities are supported by a communication strategy focused on specific target groups. This article describes some of the main...

Université de Fribourg

Magneto-responsive cell culture substrates that can be modulated in situ

Crippa, Federica ; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara ; Petri-Fink, Alke

In: CHIMIA International Journal for Chemistry, 2019, vol. 73, no. 1, p. 51–54

Understanding the interaction between cells and their environment is fundamental for mechanobiology. To mimic the behavior of cells in physiological and pathological conditions, synthetic substrates must have topographical and/or mechanical properties that evolve in time. Dynamic substrates mainly rely on stimuli-responsive materials where an external stimulus induces controlled variations in...

Université de Fribourg

A bio-inspired amplification cascade for the detection of rare cancer cells

Rüegg, Curzio ; Reis, Corine ; Rafiee, Sarah ; Rodriguez-Lorenzoa, Laura ; List, Jonathan ; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara ; Mayer, Michael ; Petri-Fink, Alke

In: CHIMIA International Journal for Chemistry, 2019, vol. 73, no. 1, p. 63–68

The main cause of cancer-related death is due to cancer cell spreading and formation of secondary tumors in distant organs, the so-called metastases. Metastatic cancer cells are detectable in the blood of cancer patients as circulating tumor cells (CTC) and may be exploited for prognostic and monitoring purposes, including in breast cancer. Due to their very low frequency, however, their...

Université de Fribourg

Artificial lysosomal platform to study nanoparticle long-term stability

Milosevic, Ana ; Bourquin, Joël ; Burnand, David ; Lemal, Philipp ; Crippa, Federica ; Monnier, Christophe A. ; Rodriguez-Lorenzo, Laura ; Petri-Fink, Alke ; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara

In: CHIMIA International Journal for Chemistry, 2019, vol. 73, no. 1, p. 55–58

Nanoparticles (NPs) possess unique properties useful for designing specific functionalities for biomedi- cal applications. A prerequisite of a safe-by-design and effective use in any biomedical application is to study NP–cell interactions to gain a better understanding of cellular consequences upon exposure. Cellular uptake of NPs results mainly in the localization of NPs in the complex...

Université de Fribourg

An atomistic look into bio-inspired nanoparticles and their molecular interactions with cells

Petretto, Emanuele ; Campomanes, Pablo ; Stellacci, Francesco ; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara ; Petri-Fink, Alke ; Vanni, Stefano

In: CHIMIA International Journal for Chemistry, 2019, vol. 73, no. 1, p. 78–80

Nanoparticles (NPs) have sizes that approach those of pathogens and they can interact with the membranes of eukaryotic cells in an analogous fashion. Typically, NPs are taken up by the cell via the plasma membrane by receptor-mediated processes and subsequently interact with various endomembranes. Unlike pathogens, however, NPs lack the remarkable specificity gained during the evolutionary...

Université de Fribourg

Templated assembly of pore-forming peptides in lipid membranes

Fennouri, Aziz ; List, Jonathan ; Dupasquier, Jessica ; Haeni, Laetitia ; Vanni, Stefano ; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara ; Mayer, Michael

In: CHIMIA International Journal for Chemistry, 2019, vol. 73, no. 1, p. 59–62

Pore-forming peptides are of interest due to their antimicrobial activity and ability to form gateways through lipid membranes. Chemical modification of these peptides makes it possible to arrange several peptide monomers into well-defined pore-forming structures using various templating strategies. These templated super-structures can exert antimicrobial activity at significantly lower total...