K. Swaminathan Iyer

School of Molecular Sciences,
The University of Western Australia,
Perth, WA 6009, Australia

Gold nanorods (GNRs) are one of the most widely explored inorganic materials in nanomedicine for diagnostics, therapeutics and sensing. The internalization of GNRs in cells is well-documented: they are non-cytotoxic and are localized within cytoplasmic vesicles following endocytosis, with no nuclear localization. However, there have been reports of alterations in gene expression profiles in cells following exposure to GNRs via unknown mechanisms. In this presentation I will unravel the potential pathway that explains this phenomenon by mapping the intracellular chemical speciation process of GNRs resulting in nuclear localization of dissociated gold atoms. Using correlative experimentation I will demonstrate that the commonly used gold (Au)–thiol conjugation, which is important for maintaining the noble (inert) properties of gold nanostructures, is altered following endocytosis, which could potentially result in the formation of nuclear localizing Au(I)– thiolates. Finally I will present data to show that this nuclear localization of gold species perturbs the dynamic microenvironment within the nucleus and triggers alteration of gene expression in human cells.

Biographic Details

Name Prof. Iyer Swaminathan
Title: Associate Head of School-Molecular Sciences and ARC Future Fellow-BioNano
The University of Western Australia, Australia.
Phone: +6164884470
E-mail: swaminatha.iyer@uwa.edu.au
Research interests: Iyer’s research group focuses on the use engineering innovative
nanoformulations which are designed for the treatment of undruggable medical emergencies
like traumatic brain injuries, traumatic burns injury, cardiovascular diseases, placental related
disorders in pregnancy and cancers (breast, cervical, colorectal).