(23c) Multi-Scale Engineering of Biomedical Made Nanomaterials and Devices By Scalable Flame Synthesis

Tricoli, A., The Australian National University
In the last decades, nanostructured materials have demonstrated a considerable potential in many medical applications. This ranges from targeted drug delivery1 to non-invasive medical diagnostics2. For example, the synthesis of stimuli-responsive nanocomposite able to more easily penetrate cell membranes and release specific molecules1 is of great significance for delivery of anti-cancer drugs. Similar achievements have been obtained for medical devices2, 3. Portable diagnostic methods have been empowered by the utilization of tailored nanostructures4. For example, the latter can amplify relatively week biomarkers such as breath and body odour analysis resulting in novel non-invasive medical diagnostics opportunities5.

We have recently shown that a large variety of nanoparticles such as photo-responsive TiO2 and chemo-responsive SnO2 can be rapidly synthesized by combustion of organometallic precursor solutions. This flame synthesis process is a very scalable technology currently utilized for the production of most nanoparticle commodities such as Carbon Black, fumed Silica, and Titania pigments. Its application to biomedical engineering has led to the synthesis of tailored materials with unique chemical and physical properties such as surface enhanced SnO2-TiO2 solid solutions7. These flame-made nanomaterials have demonstrated excellent gas sensing properties toward a large number of reducing and oxidizing gases8. This resulted in the first portable breath analysers for acetone detection, the main breath-marker for diabetes2. Optimization of this synthesis approach has enabled the fabrication of nanostructured surfaces for numerous applications including batteries, solar cells, and super-hydrophilic / hydrophobic9 coatings10. In particular, such three-dimensional nanostructured surface allows enhancement of substrate - surrounding interaction and thus have potential to improve interface properties at sub-cellular level.

Here, we will present the synthesis of tailored nanostructured material by flame synthesis. We will focus on the application of this scalable approach for three main different applications, namely, the fabrication of stimuli-responsive nano-substrates for drug deliver and imaging, the assembly of biosensors for non-invasive medical diagnostics, and the rapid fabrication of biocompatible coating for medical implants. We will discuss the multi-scale optimization of the material nano-micro structure demonstrating that the interaction between organic and inorganic components can be optimized through suitable hierarchical configurations.

1. H. Lee, et al., Mol Pharm, 2010, 7, 1195-1208.

2. M. Righettoni, et al., Anal Chim Acta, 2012, 738, 69-75.

3. M. Righettoni, A. Tricoli and S. E. Pratsinis, Chem. Mat., 2010, 22, 3152-3157.

4. A. Tricoli, M. Graf and S. E. Pratsinis, Adv. Funct. Mat., 2008, 18, 1969-1976.

5. G. Peng, et al. Nature Nanotech., 2009, 4, 669-673.

6. A. Tricoli, M. Righettoni and S. E. Pratsinis, Nanotechnology, 2009, 20, 315502.

7. A. Tricoli and S. E. Pratsinis, Nature Nanotech., 2010, 5, 54-60.

8. A. Tricoli, et al., Nanotechnology, 2010, 21, 465604.

9. A. Tricoli and T. D. Elmoe, AIChE Journal, 2012, 58, 3578-3588.