Module VI


IV. Biological and Medical applications of NMT


6.1 Bioactive surfaces
6.2 Cell culture technology and its application in nanotechnology and biomedicine
6.3 Biotechnological applications of nanotechnology


Module Description

In this module students will be introduced to molecular biology, cell biology and cell culture technology. The general lectures describe the cells, their key molecules like proteins and nucleic acids and present the biological role of biomolecules and cells. In addition the interaction of cells with natural and synthetic environment, with surfaces and biomaterials is focused. The theory part is supported by practical course work especially regarding biotechnological and biomedical applications, which these cells and molecules are involved in. Current research trends in emerging fields are included like tissue engineering, stem cell technology and others. Modern bioanalytical technologies are introduced. In both cell biology and biotechnological aspects, students will discover attractive fields of application for nanotechnology.



Students will be able to understand the fundamentals of biological activity of cells and biomolecules, to know the most important methods to determine these activities and to know current applications of biomaterials, cells and molecules in nanotechnology and biomedicine. They will learn important methods to characterize functional surfaces and how to modify them to attach biomolecules and cells. To know the interface of nanotechnology, biology and biotechnology is a growing challenge and enables the students to work exactly in this interdisciplinary field.


Overall Content

The first course deals with biotechnological applications of Nanotechnology.
The gene encoding the -amylase, malS, will be amplified and isolated from Escherichia coli and cloned in an expression vector. The students transform a bacterium with the vector and screen the resulting colonies by PCR. Using the suitable transformant, they perform expression and purification of the recombinant protein. This protein consists in a fusion among alpha-amylase, a polyhistidine (His-tag) tag and a Rainbow-tag. The His-tag allows purification by affinity chromatography on a nickel-loaded column. The innovative Rainbow-tag dyes the molecule and makes it visible in gels and columns. Properties of purified recombinant amylase will be investigated in several analytical assays: kinetic enzymatic assay, Surface Plasmon Resonnance immunoassay and substrate binding assay, micro array screening.

The second course concerns bioactive surfaces.
Selected topics are:
- Generating functional surfaces by "in solution" processes, plasma deposition and cvd.
- Choosing the required linker chemistry, e.g. formation of dendritic structures on surfaces and attaching biomolecules to the preactivated surfaces.
- Characterization of the modified surfaces using various analytical techniques.
- Testing the bioactivity with fluorescence based assays.
- Performing surface plasmon resonance experiments in order to determine enzymatic activity.
- Using array technology to determine gene or protein expression.

And the third course concentrates on cell culture technology and its application in Nanotechnology and Biomedicine.
Some of the topics are:
- Introduction to basic techniques of cell culture technology.
- Biomaterials and bioactive surfaces. Interaction of cells with biomaterials and their surfaces.
- Biocompatibility and cytotoxicity of materials and surfaces.
- Mechanisms of cell attachment and adherence (staining procedures).
- Delivery of signalling factors to stimulate cells and stem cells.
- Biomedical applications: from nanotechnology to tissue engineering.

Previous knowledge

The participants should have adequate knowledge (level engineer) in physics, chemistry and materials technology.