Nanomedicine, the application of nanotechnology to healthcare, has great impact on innovation of medical treatments and therapies. Nanoparticles (NPs) have an enormous potential in the medical arena as drug and gene delivery vehicles, fluorescent labels and contrast agents. However, extensive in vivo applications of NPs require a more exhaustive exploration of the physicochemical and physiological processes coupled with introduction of NPs to biological environments. The dynamic physicochemical interactions, kinetics and thermodynamic exchanges between NPs surfaces and the surfaces of biological components give rise to the ‘nano–bio’ interface. It is impossible to inevitably describe all events at this interface, but additional information on the more specific interplay of NPs with bioactive components of living cells and tissues are of the highest relevance for prospective evolution of nanomedicine.

Proposed NanoFaceS project aims to provide a body of new information and new knowledge to the nanomedical endeavor in addressing the scientific uncertainties related to the beyond-state-of-the-art interaction of engineered metal-based NPs, used in theranostics, and sulfur-containing biomolecules (S-biomols), important in living systems due to their complex functional roles. NanoFaceS will use model system comprising (i) a set of silver, gold and iron oxide NPs with varying physico-chemical properties, i.e. size, surface charge and chemical composition and (ii) six representative S-biomols: cysteine, glutathione, metallothionein, albumin and insulin. The underlying concept of NanoFaceS will be based on understanding of interactions between NPs and S-biomols by implementing multimethodological and multidisciplinary approach which would yield competence on biological consequences of NPs interaction with S-biomols. As a major outcome, project will provide substantial knowledge to the nanomedical landscape.