Don’t question my gender, or my sex, unless I’m a cell. If I’m a cell, and you can identify my sex, you can design nanoparticles that can more effectivelly deliver targeted drugs to me that will help my human host.
Holy crap, I just spent a whole two sentences imagining I was a cell, and I liked it. Life was much simpler as a cell.
But seriously folks, this is exciting med tech news. Researchers are working on ways to enhance nanomedicine by understanding the different qualities and conditions of cells based off the ‘sex’ of the cell.
|Cell sex impacts the biological uptake of nanoparticles|
One of the key issues in nanomedicine is the question of how to effectively transport therapeutical nanoparticles and associated drugs to and into cells.
Researchers have been studying the underlying mechanisms that so far have prevented successful clinical translation of a majority of medical nanotechnology applications. It turns out that when nanoparticles enter a biological environment such as blood, they immediately get exposed to a range of factors that can impact their effectiveness and efficiency. It has become quite clear over time that the cellular response to nanomaterials depends on the physiological environment.
For instance, biological responses to nanoparticles are temperature-dependant. Researchers also have discovered the crucial role of biomolecular coronas for nanoparticle-cell interactions: the biological responses to nanoparticles are strongly dependent on the type and amount of associated proteins in the composition of the biomolecular corona.
Scientists now have identified yet another, so far overlooked factor that impacts nanoparticle uptake.
In a new study accepted in ACS Nano (“Effect of Cell Sex on Uptake of Nanoparticles: The Overlooked Factor at the Nanobio Interface”), an international team of researchers discovered that cell sex is an important overlooked factor at the nanobio interfaces.
More specifically, depending on their sex, cells respond differently to the exact same type of nanoparticles.
“Our findings have a capacity to optimize clinical translation of nanoparticles and also to help researchers to better design and produce safe and efficient therapeutic sex-specific nanoparticles,” Morteza Mahmoudi, an Instructor at Harvard Medical School and the former Director of and Principal Investigator at the NanoBio Interactions Laboratory at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, tells Nanowerk.
It has been know that the differences between female and male embryos originate at a very early developmental stage prior to the initiation of hormonal changes; therefore genetically and structurally driven sexual dimorphisms are expected at this early stage.