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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Quantitative Cell-Based Assays for Investigating Cell-Nanoparticle Interactions


Material Measurement Laboratory, Biosystems and Biomaterials Division

RO# Location
50.64.41.B6480 Gaithersburg, MD

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.


Name E-mail Phone
Elliott, John Timothy 301.975.8551


The unique properties of nanoparticles suggest that they will be in widespread use in manufactured materials and in the field of medicine. Although methods to characterize and fabricate nanoparticle-based materials are advancing rapidly, it remains challenging to determine how these particles will influence complex biological systems such as cells and tissues. Some of the initial classes of nanoparticle materials, including fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, gold and silica nanoparticles, likely interact with cells. Development and testing of robust cell-based assays that detect changes in key signaling pathways will be important for addressing the effects of nanoparticle-cell interactions. In addition, assays to identify nanoparticle entry, localization, and long-term storage of nanoparticles within cells are required to establish the initial and long-term events associated with nanoparticle-cells interactions. This type of data will be invaluable for developing predictive models that correlate nanoparticle features and fabrication techniques with cell response. NIST provides the opportunity to take advantage of the many advanced nanoparticle detection techniques being developed by NIST scientists and utilize them for investigating living systems. The project could include chemical derivatization of nanoparticles that facilitate measurements with advanced instrumentation, development of robust assays to interrogate major signaling pathways within cells, and the use of cytotoxicity and other cell function assays.


Cell-based assay; Cytotoxicity; Fluorescence microscopy; Nanotechnology; Quantitative cell biology;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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