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Electrophysiological changes in ion channels in human haploid and diploid (spermatozoa and lymphocytes) after nanoparticle exposure

Faculty of Life Sciences

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Dr Lijun Shang , Dr Martin Brinkworth , Prof Diana Anderson Applications accepted all year round

About the Project

Nanomaterial-mediated delivery represents a promising technique for repro- and geno- toxicology with a potential to improve the safety and efficacy of existing methodologies, including experimental gene therapy and sperm-mediated gene transfer. However, their effects upon mammalian gametes with highly specialised structure and functionality remain under examined, especially their effects on the mechanisms of ion channel functions, although the University of Bradford is one of very few places where the spermatozoal nanotoxicology research has been undertaken for some time.

In this project, we plan to systematically investigate electrophysiological changes of the ion channels in human sperm cells, e.g. exposure to nanoparticles in the CatSper and Slo 3 channels in order to gain a deeper understanding of effects of these nanoparticles upon the function of the cells, for example, the main parameters of sperm function, including motility, viability, according to WHO guidelines and DNA fragmentation.

Our findings would provide useful information on the effect of nano versus bulk compounds on sperm and lymphocytes which might aid in therapeutic approaches. In addition, somatic lymphocyte cells after treatment with the same nanoparticles or bulk compound will be examined to determine differences in sensitivity between haploid and diploid cells.

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