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New discovery reveals fate of nanoparticles in human cells

Scientists funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have uncovered what happens to biomimetic nanoparticles when they enter human cells. They found that the important proteins that make up the outer layer of these nanoparticles are degraded by an enzyme called cathepsin L. Scientists now have to take this phenomenon into account and overcome this process to ensure the exciting field of nanomedicine can progress. The research is published today (22 September) in ACS Nano.

Dr Raphaël Lévy, a BBSRC David Phillips Fellow at the University of Liverpool and lead researcher on the project said: "We've known for some time that nanoparticles are taken into cells and there have been experiments done to establish their final destinations, but we didn't know until now what state they are in by the time they get there."

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