Vidhishri Kesarwani,1,2 Ana Traven2 and Simon R. Corrie1*


1Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, 3800, ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent BioNano Science and Technology
Infection and Immunity Program and the Department of Biochemitsry and Molecular Biology, Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University


The interactions between silica nanoparticles and cells have been extensively studied and applied in the areas of diagnostics, drug delivery, gene therapy and imaging. This wide array of applications relies on the tuneable size, shape, composition and ease of surface modification of nanoparticles, which allows for specific targeting and control over their biodistribution1,2. While many studies have looked at how these properties influence the way silica nanoparticles interact with various mammalian cells, including internalisation, cell differentiation and cytotoxicity, their interaction with human pathogens have not been well characterised.

Candida albicans (C. albicans) is a hospital-related pathogen, causing systemic infections that have a very high mortality of 40% even when the best antimicrobial drugs and diagnostic approaches are available. A major reason for the high mortality is the lack of rapid detection methods, potentially leading to delayed treatment of patients, where infection has already taken hold3. In this study, the interaction between organosilica nanoparticles and C. albicans was investigated in view of developing a novel therapeutic, diagnostic or theranostic tool for C. albicans associated nosocomial infections. In particular, we looked at the effect of size, concentration and surface modification of organosilica nanoparticles on the growth kinetics, cell association and cell death of C. albicans in the yeast form. To date, we have found a size and concentration-dependent effect on the growth kinetics and cell association of C. albicans. These results aim to provide a better understanding on the use of organosilica nanoparticles as vehicles for therapy and diagnosis.


1 Chen G, Roy I, Yang C, Prasad P. Nanochemistry and Nanomedicine for Nanoparticle-based Diagnostics and Therapy. Chemical Reviews. 2016;116(5):2826-2885.

2 Montalti M, Prodi L, Rampazzo E, Zaccheroni N. Dye-doped silica nanoparticles as luminescent organized systems for nanomedicine. Chemical Society Reviews. 2014;43(12):4243-68.

3 Pfaller M, Diekema D. Epidemiology of Invasive Candidiasis: a Persistent Public Health Problem. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2007;20(1):133-163.

Biographic Details

Name: Vidhishri Kesarwani

Title: Interaction between organosilica nanoparticles and the human pathogen, Candida albicans

Affiliation, Country: Monash University, Australia

Phone: +61450702292  E-mail:

Research interests: diagnostics, implantable devices, nanoparticles, biosensors, fungal pathogens


AEB 301