Dr. Matthew Boyles
Fachbereich Molekulare Biologie
5020 Salzburg, Austria
Tel: (+43) 662 8044 5884
Identification of specific parameters which influence the impact of nanoparticles on human cells (Project 13).
Related Work Packages: WP1, WP2, WP3, WP4 (see WP Table).
In 2007, Matthew received a BSc (Hons) degree from Edinburgh Napier University (UK) in Biomedical Science; during this time he investigated the oxidative potential, particle induced inflammatory responses and cytotoxicity of nano- and bulk-sized polystyrene beads. After completion of this degree he sought his own funding and received a Carnegie research grant that allowed him to remain within the research group of Prof. Vicki Stone, of Edinburgh Napier University. As a postgraduate research fellow, Matthew conducted a study into the oxidative stress induced fluctuations of intracellular calcium signalling in response to quantum dots, nanoparticle carbon black and polystyrene beads. This work led Matthew to pursue further research into nanotoxicology. He obtained and completed a PhD within a multidisciplinary research consortium, funded by the EPSRC. The PhD thesis was entitled “The toxicity and potential pathogenicity of high-performance engineered multi-walled carbon nanotubes”, and highlighted specific characteristics of carbon nanotubes that were found to induce potentially pathogenic mechanisms upon cellular uptake. This work has led to his move to Austria, and to the University of Salzburg, where he has joined the far larger multidisciplinary Marie Curie consortium of NanoTOES, and is currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow.
- Clift, M. J. D., Boyles, M. S. P., Brown, D. M. & Stone, V. (2010) An investigation into the potential for different surface-coated quantum dots to cause oxidative stress and affect macrophage cell signalling in vitro. Nanotoxicology, 4, 139-149.
- Gaiser, B., Clift, M., Johnston, H., Boyles, M. and Fernandes, T. (2011). Human and natural environment effects of nanomaterials. In: Sattler, K. Handbook of nanophysics – nanomedicine and nanorobotics. 7th ed. Florida: Taylor & Francis Group. 14.1-14.24.
- Rothen-Rutishauser, B., Brown, D. M., Piallier-Boyles, M., Kinloch, I. A., Windle, A. H., Gehr, P. & Stone, V. (2010) Relating the physicochemical characteristics and dispersion of multiwalled carbon nanotubes in different suspension media to their oxidative reactivity in vitro and inflammation in vivo. Nanotoxicology, 4, 331-342.
- V. Stone, M. Boyles, A. Kermanizadeh, J. Varet, H. Johnston. (2012). Carbon nanotube-cellular interactions, macrophages, epithelial and mesothelial cells. In: Ken Donaldson, Craig Poland, Rodger Duffin, James Bonner. The Toxicology of Carbon Nanotubes. New York: Cambridge University Press. p174-p209.
Nanotechnology is an industry that is clearly advantageous, but also has many potential pitfalls, and therefore many concerns regarding its growth and expansion. However, the rightful place of nanotechnology in our world is almost assured, and the use of nanomaterials will indeed shape the future of many industries. Consequently, it is vital that we learn from our past experiences with materials such as asbestos and combustion derived nanoparticles, and proceed with caution, to allow the utilisation of nanomaterials in a safe fashion.
With the expansion of engineered nanomaterials and an increase in routes of exposure, it is important to assess which aspects of these nanomaterials are most responsible for inciting their potential pathogenicity. With this in mind Matthew is attempting to highlight the characteristics that play the foremost role in nanomaterial toxicity. This would allow for the safer production of future material, would limit toxic exposures, and may alleviate the fears some have in respect to human health and the effect upon the environment. Much investigation is needed to form this understanding, but working in conjunction with other members of the NanoTOES consortium will help during this task. Currently Matthew is looking at nanoparticle composition and surface charge, to ascertain if these factors contribute to the interactions of particles with cells, and with components of relative biological media, and how these interactions govern particle uptake, and ultimately how these factors affect cell death and immune modulation.
Prof. Albert Duschl (NanoTOES PI, PLUS).