UK MMSG Nanoparticles Follow-up Meeing 2012

The meeting took place at the University of Birmingham, on Monday 30th January 2012, as part of the UK Mathematics-in-Medicine Study Groups series. This was a follow-up meeting, inspired by the problem How do manufactured nanoparticles enter cells?, which was studied at the UK MMSG Reading 2011.

List of participants

Initially, Josh Rappoport gave a summary of the biological problem, along with discussion of some new data and future directions. Becky Notman gave a talk about her relevant work on molecular dynamics simulations. The work done during the study group in Reading was then recapped. Steve Webb and Ian Sorrell also discussed their research into nanoparticles (joint work with Becky Shipley who was invited but unable to attend).

It was decided that the ODE model developed at Reading should be further investigated. Specifically, the rate constants in the model should be based on better estimates. To do this, further understanding of the biological problem and mechanisms involved is needed. The specific biological question we wish to investigate is the difference in nanoparticle entry depending on the presence of serum in the solution. Research by Josh Rappoport demonstrated that the presence of serum greatly reduces the cell surface association of nanoparticles, as well as the potential for internalization. Further experiments and further research of the literature should yield more accurate estimates of the rate constants. The meeting will focus on modelling the modification of NP-cell membrane binding in the presence of serum.

Josh Rappoport also discussed the development of new experimental strategy based on FRAP photobleaching analysis, which could yield more accurate results than the plate reader experiments.

The schedule for follow up work to the problem was decided to be as follows