26 Sep 2017
Rideal Travel Bursary recipient, Anna Wolna, reports from the UK COLLOIDS 2017 Conference in Manchester.
Anna Wolna was awarded the Rideal Travel Bursary to attend the UK COLLOIDS 2017 in Manchester UK. Here she tells us about the conference and her opportunity to attend to relevant presentations and enhance her knowledge and expertise about the colloid science field.
‘I am delighted to be a recipient of the Sir Rideal Bursary as it enabled me to attend an extremely interesting conference in Manchester. The title of the conference was UK COLLOIDS 2017. A flash presentation, as well as a poster, were presented by me and valuable feedback about my research was received.
‘At this conference, there were many internationally well-known speakers who are experts in nanoparticles and lipid fields. One of the most interesting subjects was focused on magnetic nanoparticles used in the targeted nano-medications. Dr Ashford – AstraZeneca representative – gave a brilliant talk about the long way new medicines face, before they become available on the market (only 6% are successful!). Attention was given to gold nanoparticles (NP – nanoparticles) which are being tested in the breast cancer treatment [Lee et all, 2015 Cancer Lett. 347, 1, 46-53]. She outlined how important targeted drug delivery is for therapeutics efficiency. NPs seem to be very promising - they accumulate in the cancerous tissues because of increased membrane permeability of tumors. However, NPs together with susceptible tissues, are ultimately digested by the host's immune system cells. This action triggers storage of nanoparticles in the spleen or liver which may promote organ damage. Encapsulating the NPs with different polymers (e.g. polyethylene glycol, Kah et all, 2009, J. Drug Target,17, 3) to some extent prevents organ damage and prolongs the lifetime of the carried drug. What is even more interesting, magnetic NPs allow the induction of hyperthermia in cancer treatment. All the NPs used in cancer treatment might become targeted using antibodies or dendrimers and their side effects might be reduced by the encapsulation of NPs transporting drugs in liposomes or micelles.
‘At the conference dinner, I had a very interesting conversation with Dr Olivier Sandre. He gave me a great advice on how to perform efficient ligand exchange with my nanoparticles. My previous work focused on gold nanowires (AuNW). Following the synthesis conditions, AuNWs are encapsulated in oleyamine, thus are water insoluble. Dr Sandre suggested that phospholipids should be employed in the transfer of wires from organic to a water based solution. He also agreed with my worry, that removing oleyamine without disrupting nanoparticles is very difficult. That gave me a positive look at some of my results so far. Additionally, on the first day, Dr Sandre gave an intriguing speech about the characteristics of different sized magnetic nanoparticles used both in magnetic resonance imagining as contrast agents as well as in the hyper-thermal treatment of cancer. The large-scale production of iron oxide nanoparticles, which is necessary for long term use, was also discussed. The latter one is very interesting in terms of biotherapeutics applications in the treatment of a variety of illness.
‘After the poster session, I had a conversation with Dr Nishil Malde, who works as Product Manager at Anton Paar Ltd. Earlier the same day, he gave a speech about the use of zeta sizer in nanoparticles characterization. Afterwards I asked him several more questions about a further characteristic of NPs as well as job possibilities in Anton Paar (specifically for disabled people). He promised to make my details available to human resources in his company and send me some additional information about zeta sizer use in nanoparticles description.
‘The conference gave me fantastic networking possibilities and interesting ideas about my PhD project. I am thankful for the possibility which the Rideal Bursary gave me. It enabled me to build up my professional profile, thus increased my future employability. I am extremely thankful for the opportunities which I received.’
Anna Wroblewska Wolna
University of Leeds