Dissecting how cells internalize and process nano-sized drug carriers for nanomedicine applications

Anna Salvati / University of Groningen, Netherlands

July 20, 2023



Nanometer-sized materials are used in nanomedicine to deliver drugs more efficiently to their site of action. In order to improve their efficacy, a better understanding of how cells interact with nanometer-sized materials is required. Our research is focused on characterizing the molecular details of the early interactions of nanometer-sized materials at the cell membrane, and the subsequent mechanisms of uptake and intracellular trafficking. To this end, we combine classic transport studies with inhibitors and RNA interference to genetic screening and proteomic-based methods to characterize the mechanisms by which nanoparticles are internalized by cells. In further studies, we developed advanced in vitro models more closely resembling the in vivo environment for our studies, including endothelial cell barriers and precision cut tissue slices from different organs. In this talk, I will highlight our findings on how cells interact with and process nanometer-sized materials and present first results for the improvement of the drug-delivery applied in nanomedicine.

Anna Salvati

graduated with a degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Florence, Italy, and in 2007, she was awarded a PhD in Chemical Sciences from the same university for the preparation and physico-chemical characterization of drug carriers. She then joined the Centre for BioNano Interactions, University College Dublin, Ireland, where she focused on the development of methodologies to obtain reproducible quantitative data on nanoparticle uptake and interactions with cells.

In 2014, with a Rosalind Franklin Fellowship, she was appointed as assistant professor at the University of Groningen (RUG) and established her group at the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP). Since 2019 she has been associate professor in nanomedicine. Her research is focused on understanding how nanomedicine interacts with and is processed by cells. She also focuses on the development of novel methods to study these interactions and the optimization of advanced in vitro models for her studies. Her research has resulted in more than 90 papers to date which has attracted >11k citations. Since 2020 she is an associate editor of the Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology.