Red blood cells and novel nanomaterials: towards nanosafety and nanomedicine

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Auditorium L10, Linnanmaa

Topic of the dissertation

Red blood cells and novel nanomaterials: towards nanosafety and nanomedicine

Doctoral candidate

Master of Science Tatiana Avsievich

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Optoelectronics and Measurement Techniques

Subject of study

Electrical Engineering


Professor Chia- Liang Cheng, National Dong Hwa University (Taiwan)


Doctor Aliaksander Bykau, University of Oulu

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Red blood cells and novel nanomaterials: towards nanosafety and nanomedicine

Nanomaterials are an essential part of modern life due to their extensive use in industrial and commercial products and future personalized medicine. In recent years, new nanoparticles (NPs) have been introduced in bioimaging, diagnostics, drug delivery, and therapy. Along with the production growth of NPs, concerns about NPs safety for human health have been raised. As blood is an inevitable target for NP-based pharmaceutics at systemic NP-based drug administration, the investigation of the poorly understood effects of NPs on blood properties is of high demand.

The present thesis focuses on the assessment of commercial and novel synthesized NPs towards the haemorheological properties of the main blood cellular component — red blood cells (RBCs). In the research for this thesis, RBC morphology, deformability and mutual interactions were examined in non-haemolytic concentrations of NPs. A revolutionary optical tweezers technique revealed subtle effects of indirect toxicity towards mutual RBCs interactions and deformability. Further, additional conventional optical microscopy analysis revealed the influence of NPs on RBC interactions on a multicellular level, while scanning electron microscopy (SEM) enabled high-resolution monitoring of RBCs surfaces and morphological alterations triggered by NPs. Another aim of the study addressed the unclear mechanism behind RBC interactions. Experimental evidence of the definitive role of the size and proportion of macromolecules in RBC interactions was provided. The mixture of natural polymer dextran mimicking plasma protein composition induced an RBC interaction mode similar to one observed in blood plasma. Thus, the new hybrid model combining “cross-bridges” and “depletion” effects was proposed.

The reported findings contribute to the fundamental understanding of RBC interactions and can help to facilitate the design and clinical validation of polymer-based plasma expanders and novel NPs for safe and beneficial use.
Last updated: 29.9.2022