NSTI BioNano 2010

The Collaboratory for Structural Nanobiology

R. Cachau, A.M. Gonzalez-Ibanez, C. Sandoval and, F. Gonzalez-Nilo
Advanced Biomedical Computing Center/NCI, US

Keywords: nanobiology, nanoparticles


Manufactured nanobiomaterials exploit the unusual properties of nanomaterials to develop new forms of intervention in biological systems. Nanobiotechnology is the field of science focused on the design, synthesis, characterization and application of nanomaterials and nanodevices to biological and biomedical problems. The success of nanobiotechnology hinges on our ability to characterize, predict, and control the biological properties of nanobiomaterials. Nanoinformatics is a collection of multi-disciplinary approaches to catalog, correlate, and model nanomaterial properties. CaNanoLab (http://cananolab.abcc.ncifcrf.gov) is an early example of a nanobioinformatics portal dedicated to foster the rapid dissemination of nanobiological information across the scientific community. Nanobioinformatics studies are complex because they must simultaneously deal with the large dispersion of chemical formulations of nanobiomaterials (ranging from polymer to metal oxide particles), the lack of a common language across contributing disciplines, and the lack of a low level language that can be used across nanoparticles. We could argue that, in lieu of a sequence space, similar to that available to bioinformatics studies of peptides and nucleotide sequences, we could build a structure based annotation and analysis of nanobioparticles that could help us cross-analyze their properties. Computer characterization of nanobioparticles is key to build a structure-based nanoinformatics infrastructure. We are in the process of building a nanobioinformatics service dedicated to the collection, curation, and correlation of structural, physico-chemical, and biological, and biomedical data: the Collaboratory for Structural Nanobiology (CSN http://csn.ncifcrf.gov). We have used CSN to explore nanobioparticles data storage, retrieval, and analysis in the context of nanobiological studies. Here you can find downloadable nanopdb files, related research data, and resources for visualization of different nanoparticles such as dendrimers, nanotubes and metallic particles, Figure 1. This work has been funded in part with funds from the NCI-NIH (Contract No. NO1-CO-12400 and HHSN261200800001E). The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the DHHS, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
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