Dr Neil Liptrott
Nanomaterials; investigating their biological interactions to speed up clinical translation
Nanomaterials hold the potential to improve therapy across a number of diseases either through improved bioavailability or systemic distribution. Additionally, novel nanobiomaterials may be used to improve cell therapies or implantable constructs. However, there is a paucity of information regarding putative adverse interactions in biological systems, which is important for the development and regulation of safe and effective nanomaterials.
The interaction of nanomaterials with various components of the immune system has been well documented and therefore assessment of these interactions is vital for successful translation to the clinic. Prediction of such reactions is important for development of robust preclinical systems for selection of viable leads, but is hampered by a limited understanding of the mechanisms and signalling pathways involved in the recognition of engineered nanoparticles by the host immune system.
The mechanisms involved in this recognition are complex and varied including, but not limited to, altered cytokine expression, generation of reactive oxygen species, absorption of blood proteins (e.g. complement) which induce phagocyte activation and triggering of various signalling complexes. We are investigating these relationships in order to determine critical attributes of nanomaterials that relate to their biological interactions both to assess their compatibility and to aid in the, future, rational design of nanomaterials.
Tenure Track Fellow, Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Liverpool, UK.
Dr Liptrott has a background in pharmacology, immunology and molecular cell biology and in 2015 was awarded a tenure track fellowship within the department of Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool and heads the nanotechnology biocompatibility research programme. Dr Liptrott has also worked as a guest researcher at, and continues to collaborate with, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Nanotechnology Characterisation Laboratory (NCL) based in Frederick, Maryland, USA. Dr Liptrott is also a member of the Executive Board, Core Expert Team (CET) and assay group leader for immunotoxicity and haematotoxicity of the recently established European Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory (EU-NCL), funded by the European Commission (Horizon 2020). Dr Liptrott leads the University of Liverpool work packages on nanoparticle biocompatibility and structure-activity relationships. His research is focused on investigating the biological interactions of conventional (small molecules) as well as novel therapeutics (nanomaterials and cell therapies) which includes assessment of their biocompatibility and immunological safety. The aim of this work is to develop an understanding of the interaction of these therapies with immunological and haematological systems which is vital to preclinical evaluation as well enabling future rational design of nanomaterials. Additionally, Dr Liptrott has an interest in developing novel techniques and in vitro systems to further investigate these relationships.