Senior Scientist - Nanobiotechnology Group Lead
Human Effectiveness Directorate
Air Force Research Laboratory
Application of Cutting-edge Technologies to Understand Biomolecular Interaction of Engineered Nanomaterials
The gap in the fundamental knowledge of the interactions between engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) and biology impairs our ability to intelligently design new nanomaterials that are safe for human health, while preserving the effectiveness and original design purpose of the ENMs. Therefore, advanced evaluations of ENMs interface with biology remains a critical need and those evaluations will support the development of next-generation materials while assessing risk susceptibility. Implementing biological molecular techniques early in the developmental process of ENMs, and adjusting formulations based on the assessed biological impact of the ENMs, maximizes ENMs performance and defines the safety parameters of the material. To that end, we have applied CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing systems, a powerful new molecular tool, to revolutionize our understanding of the nano-bio interactions with ENMs. Our lab has utilized a CRISPR/Cas9 system to “knockout” genes in a cellular model that are responsible for a protein that contributes to endocytosis (Dynamin-2). Our results demonstrate that Dynamin-2 plays a functional role in ENMs-induced cellular toxicity. Our knockout cell lines demonstrated significantly less ENMs-induced apoptosis with a corresponding increase in viability. Additionally, our lab is investigating mitochondrial dynamics under the influence of ENMs based on the ENMs surface properties. Our results demonstrated that exposure to ENMs induced alterations of mitochondrial structural dynamics that were correlated with elongation of individual mitochondrion, changes in the interconnectivity of the mitochondrial network, and loss in mitochondrial membrane potential. Our lab is also evaluating the role that substrate modulus, substrate stiffness, and dynamic tension have on cellular growth and subsequent interactions with ENMs. In addition, our results demonstrated that substrate modulus, topography, and dynamic mechanical tensions play a critical role in the ENMs biological interface and have an impact on cellular fate. The following presentation will address the dynamic applications of cutting edge technologies to further define the fundamental knowledge about the interface between biology and ENMs. (88ABW-2017-5043)
Dr Saber Hussain, Senior Scientist at the Molecular Bioeffects Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and full affiliated Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Wright State School of Medicine, Dayton, OH. Dr Hussain’s research interests address discovering fundamental interaction of engineered nanomaterials with biological system with a special focus on benefits & risks associated with nanoscale advanced materials. His research has resulted in author/co-authorship of 120 peer-reviewed publications, several book chapters, and above 200 technical abstracts. He is currently an Associate Editor of Toxicological Sciences and serves as an editorial member of several other toxicology journals. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences & Fellow of US Air Force Research Laboratory. He serves as an expert reviewer for several government and private organizations. Dr. Hussain has been the recipient of numerous scientific awards and has established a strong collaborative network with over 25 organizations of national and international repute.