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Centre for BioNano Interactions (CBNI)
Hosting Legal Entity
Self-standing RI
University College Dublin, School of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Dublin 4 (Ireland)
Type Of RI
Coordinating Country
Current Status:
Operational since 2008
Scientific Description
The Centre for BioNano Interactions (CBNI) is the Irish National Platform for BioNano Interactions. CBNI possesses a truly global ambition, addressing key issues in the safe application of Nanoscience in all aspects of industry, as well as offering new approaches to therapies for intractable diseases. CBNI is founded on the pursuit of scientific excellence in understanding how these new small entities interact with living systems. Understanding these interactions is fundamental to future developments in nanomedicine, nanodiagnostics, nanotherapeutics, as well as the safe and responsible application of nanotechnology into IT, food, water purification and other industries. As such, the issues are important not just in scientific research and to industry, but to society at large. Excellence combined with attention to detail informs every technical and scientific aspect of our efforts. CBNI seeks to lead in the field of nanomedicine, through excellence in research, and to set standards of excellence for invention, and innovation in how these particles can be applied to the advantage of human health in future. The CBNI mission statement is trust, integrity and excellence at every level.

RI Keywords
Nanomedicine, Biomolecule corona, Bio-nanointerface, Nanosafety, Quantitative bio-nano interactions, Protein corona
RI Category
Biomedical Imaging Facilities
Analytical Facilities
Environmental Health Research Facilities
Safety Handling facilities
Materials Synthesis or Testing Facilities
Micro- and Nanotechnology facilities
Genomic, Transcriptomic, Proteomics and Metabolomics Facilities
Cell Culture Facilities
Reference material repositories
Scientific Domain
Biological and Medical Sciences
Chemistry and Material Sciences
ESFRI Domain
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Health and Food
Functionalisation of nanoparticles

Nanoparticles can be surface functionalsied with PEG or other coating molecules, and/or targeting ligands such as ApoE, albumin, transferrin, etc.

Assessment of nanoparticle-biomoleule corona

Assessment of size, stability and composition of nanoparticle protein corona in situ in complex biofluids (cell culture media, blood, cell lysate, lung lavage fluid etc.) Can also assess lipid and sugar composition.

Dispersion of nanoparticles

Optimisation / development of biologically suitable dispersion strategies for nanomaterials for range of applications.

Characterisation of nanoparticle dispersion (quality / stability)

Assessment of size, size distribution and evolution over time in situ in complex dispersion media (e.g. plasma, blood, cell culture medium, river water, cremes, etc.).

Advice on design of safe nanoparticles

For many applications of nanomaterials the risk-benefit ratio is not clear. CBNI can advice companies as to how to improve the safety profile of their proposed nanomaterials, can help develop alternatives in cases where regulatory approval will be very challenging, and can advice on pertinent considerations at early design stage.

Assessment of biocompatibility of nanoparticles

Particles can abe applied through the full battery of OECD tests for physico-chemical and in vitro assessment, however not under GLP. Suitable for early stage assessment rather than final dossier preparation.

Synthesis of nanoparticles / labelled nanoparticles

Labelled or unlabelled particles in a range of sizes / shapes / surface charges / geometries, including silica, polystyrene, gold, silver, titania, ceria, etc.

High content analysis of nanoparticle-cell interactions

Multi-parametric approach to assessing impacts of nanoparticles on lysosomes, mitochondria, nucleus and overall cell health. A range of assays for oxidative stress, apoptosis etc., have been optimised for nanomaterials.

Nanoparticle uptake, targeting and localisation (cells, organisms)

Evalutation of internalised dose, localisation, clearance (if any), and effect on cell cycle of nanoparticles in range of cells and barrier models. Targeting can be evaluated via protein arrays and/or binding studies using DCS for example.

Advice on approaches to nanosafety assessment

Having build up an approach to quantitative nanosafety assessment, and detailed protococols, Standard Operating Procedures and Troubleshooting guides, we can offer companies / partners advice on how to tailor these for their specific needs (particle / formulation etc.).

Advice on regulatory aspects of nanomaterials

Advice on REACH, Cosmetics directive, nano definition, environmental and water directives etc., as well as for applications of nanomaterials in food, agriculture, energy, construction, packaging etc.

Advice on design of targeting strategies

Building on over 10 years of experience in the interactions of engineered (nano)materials living systems, we can work with companies to help them design optimised delivery strategies that overcome non-specific binding of proteins and other issues that reduce targeting efficacy.

Nanoparticle zeta potential (In situ) tools

Malvern ZetaSizer NS, or via NanoSIGHT.

Nanoparticle size & size distribution (in situ) tools

Malvern ZetaSizer, NanoSIGHT NTS, Differential Centrifugal Sedimentation (DCS) etc.

Transcriptomics facilities

State of the art transcriptomics facilities (core facility).

Ecotoxicity assessment tools

Zebra fish embryo, interactions with natural organic matter, interactions with worms, daphnia etc.

Computational models of nanoparticle interactions

Phenomenological and microscopical models of nanoparticle-protein, nanoparticle-cell and nanoparticle-barrier interactions.

Nanoparticle synthesis & labelling tools

Batch-to-batch variability, fluorescent and near-infrared labelling, Surface functionnalisation with ligands etc. Silica, polystyrene, gold, silver, titania etc.

Nanoparticle impact assessment tools

Established cell culture models for gut and blood-brain barriers, as well as multiple representative cell lines.

Protein expression & purification tools

NextGen Protein Expression Factory - robotic high throughput automated protein expression.

Nanoparticle-protein corona tools

Determined using 1D PAGE / agarose gels, mass spectrometry, Differential Centrifugal Sedimentation, etc.

High Content Analysis platform

Platform for multiparametic assessment of impacts of nanoparticles on cells, zebra fish embryo, etc.

Clean Synthesis Room
Nanoparticle dispersion tools

Sonic tip, Sonication bath, bead mill, range of biocompatible dispersants, etc.

Proteomics / Redox proteomics facilities

State of the art mass spectrometry resource (core facility).

Date of last update: 24/05/2018
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