Dr Catherine Berry

  • Lecturer (Institute of Molecular Cell & Systems Biology)

telephone: 01413308400
email: Catherine.Berry@glasgow.ac.uk


Catherine is a lecturer in the Centre for Cell Engineering in the University of Glasgow. Following her PhD at Queen Mary, University of London, was focused on tissue and bioengineering, she started in Glasgow in 2002, focusing on the use of inorganic nanoparticles for cell imaging and as delivery vehicles in cell culture models.

A range of her current projects include (i) the use of an external magnetic field to increase cell loading with magnetic nanoparticles for higher transfection efficacies, both in monolayer and 3-D cell culture models; (ii) manipulation of magnetic particles loaded MSCs & HSCs in 3-D culture to recreate a niche model system; (iii) a 3-D model for magnetic hyperthermia testing for cancer treatment; (iv) the knockdown of cell proliferation genes in cancer cells via gold nanoparticle mediated siNRA delivery; (v) the manipulation of mesenchymal stem cell differentiation via gold nanoparticle mediated inhibitors of crucial microRNAs.

Research interests

A strong and promising role for nanoparticles is foreseen in future biomedicine. Catherine’s current projects focus on using either magnetic NPs or gold NPs for applications in biomedicine. Both types of NP are regarded as safe for use in vivo, and benefit from their ease of synthesis and functionalisation, in addition to conferring useful optical and physical properties.

Current magnetic NP projects include:

(i) The use of an external magnetic field to increase cell loading with magnetic nanoparticles for higher transfection efficacies, both in monolayer and 3-D cell culture models (figure 1)
(ii) Manipulation of magnetic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs; pre-loaded with magnetic nanoparticles) into spheroid cultures, cultured within a collagen gel, to generate a quiescent, physiologically relevant model of the bone marrow niche  (figure 2). This project has been extended to incorporate hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in the niche model system, co-cultured with osteoblasts or endothelial cells, to recreate the vascular and endosteal bone marrow niche environments respectively.
(iii) Adapting the bone marrow model developed in (ii) to investigate the invasion and remodelling of the bone marrow niche by leukaemic stem cells (LSCs), using magnetic 3D MSC/HSC and LSC co-cultures.
(iv) Adapting the quiescent bone marrow model developed in (ii) to design a dormant and recurrent 3D breast cancer cell model via magnetic spheroid co-culture of MSCs and breast cancer cells.

Current gold NP projects focus on the delivery of small molecules to cells and testing of photothermal therapy in cancer cells:

(i) The knockdown of cell proliferation genes in cancer cells via gold NP mediated siNRA delivery (figure 3).
(ii) The manipulation of MSC differentiation, e.g. enhancing osteogenesis, via gold NP mediated delivery of crucial microRNAs and/or their inhibitors (miRs/antagomiRs). This project has been extended to identify whether such NP/miR treatments can be used with osteoporotic MSCs.
(iii) Inducing cell death (2D and 3D culture) via laser heating of gold NP (nanoprisms and nanrods) loaded cancer cells.


Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.

  • Investigation of strategies to enable objective quantification of neural regeneration through tissue-engineered conduits in vivo. Preparing for clinical trials.
    Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
    2016 - 2017
  • Nanoparticles and nanotopography: a nano-toolbox to control stem cell self-renewal via microRNAs
    Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
    2014 - 2016
  • Molecular interactions of Mannheimia haemolytica with the bovine and ovine respiratory tracts using three-dimensional tissue engineering approaches
    Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
    2014 - 2018
  • Development of a three-dimensional air-liquid interface epithelial cell model to study pathogen interactions within the bovine respiratory tract
    National Centre for the Replacement of Animals Research
    2014 - 2017
  • Characterisation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in a 3D Niche Mimic via Microarray (ISSF)
    Wellcome Trust
    2013 - 2013
  • IAA-EPSRC: Magnetic protein mediated hyperthermia in 3D cell culture
    Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
    2012 - 2015
  • Nanoparticle Invasion in a Three-dimensional Human Skin Tissue Model.
    The Royal Society
    2010 - 2011
  • Functionalised Gold and Semiconductor (quantum dot) nanoparticles for applications in cell and tissue engineering
    The Royal Society
    2009 - 2012
  • Multifunctional gold nanoparticles for gene therapy
    Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
    2009 - 2012
  • Determination of fluorescent quantum dot uptake by human cells in culture
    Tenovus Scotland
    2009 - 2010
  • NANOSAFE 2 - safe production and use of nanomaterials
    European Commission
    2005 - 2009


Catherine is involved in teaching to both undergraduate and postgraduates at Glasgow. Her main UG teaching includes running a level 3 lab (genetics & MCB students) and lecturing on the level 4 Cell Engineering and Stem Cell options (deputy course coordinator for both options). With regard to PG teaching, she is involved in translations skills tutorials to a cohort of PhD students and teaching on Stem Cell summer school courses. She currently primarily supervises four PhD students, and co-supervises three additional PhD students, as well as regularly supervising Masters and UG students.

Additional information

Editorial Board

  • 2015 - present: Frontiers in Bioengineering & Biotechnology - editorial board member
  • 2007 - 2008: IEEE Transactions in Nanobioscience - Guest Editor
  • 2005 - present: Current Nanoscience - Board member

Grant Advisory Board

  • 2016 - present: Medical Research Scotland - PhD Studentship Panel

Invited International Presentations

  • 2009: Glasgow, Scotland - Keynote Speaker - Nexxus Scotland Flexible Working
  • 2009: Glasgow, Scotland - Keynote Speaker - Tissue & Cell Engineering Society
  • 2007: Nantes, France - European Society Biomaterials
  • 2005: London - Keynote Speaker - UK Magnetics Workshop
  • 2004: London - Keynote Speaker - EPSRC Nanomagnetics Workshop
  • 2004: London - Materials Congress
  • 2003: Cardiff - Tissue & Cell Engineering Society
  • 2003: Invited speaker Particles Interface Group
  • 2002: Leeds, UK - UK Society Biomaterials
  • 2002: Glasgow, Scotland - Co-organiser and co-chair: Tissue and Cell Engineering Society Meeting
  • 2002: Barcelona, Spain - European Society Biomaterials
  • 2002: Glasgow, Scotland - Tissue & Cell Engineering Society

Research Fellowship

  • 2006 - 2010: Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship


    Catherine is interested in carrying out include developing new 3D multiwell plate culture platforms for HSCs, in order to support growth and retain primitive phenotype.  She aims to do this in several ways, including collaborating with Prof John Christie to use optogenetics to control the expression of key co-cultured MSC phenotype markers in addition to key cytokines involved in HSC support and retention within the bone marrow. Such research involves the use of magnetically labeled MSCs to generate quiescent spheroid cultures, which can subsequently be manipulated via blue light to enhance MSC phenotype and/or cytokine release, to generate HSC-permissive environments.

    In addition, she wishes to use the recently developed MSC/HSC multiwell plate cultures as high throughput platforms for assessing small molecules and drugs, for example looking at leukaemia treatments with LSC co-cultures.

    Further developments using gold NPs for photothermal therapy (cancer treatments) will also be carried out, whereby specific temperature profiles can be used to more accurately apply laser technology to irradiate NP labeled cells.

    Several projects have recently been completed, either evidenced as published articles or manuscripts in preparation.

    With regard to magnetic NPs, completed projects include the characterisation of MSC spheroids in 3D culture (Lewis NS et al, J Tiss Eng, 2017) and the confirmation that MSC spheroids in 3D can respond appropriately to co-culture cell injury via appropriate migration and differentiation (Lewis EEL et al, ACS Nano, 2016).

    With regard to gold NPs, we have successfully studied the gold NP-mediated delivery of siRNA for c-myc knockdown in cancer cells (Child HW et al, Nanomedicine, 2015; Conde J et al, ACS Nano, 2015) in addition to optimizing the gluoathione/polyethylene glycol ratios for successful siRNA delivery and release from gold NPs within cells (McCully M et al, Nano Research, 2015).


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Number of items: 51.


Cozens, D., Sutherland, E., Marchesi, F. , Taylor, G., Berry, C. C. and Davies, R. L. (2018) Temporal differentiation of bovine airway epithelial cells grown at an air-liquid interface. Scientific Reports, 8, 14893. (doi:10.1038/s41598-018-33180-w) (PMID:30291311) (PMCID:PMC6173764)

O'Boyle, N., Sutherland, E., Berry, C. C. and Davies, R. L. (2018) Optimisation of growth conditions for ovine airway epithelial cell differentiation at an air-liquid interface. PLoS ONE, 13(3), e0193998. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0193998) (PMID:29518140) (PMCID:PMC5843276)

Casson, J., O'Kane, S., Smith, C.-A., Dalby, M. J. and Berry, C. C. (2018) Interleukin 6 plays a role in the migration of magnetically levitated mesenchymal stem cells spheroids. Applied Sciences, 8(3), 412. (doi:10.3390/app8030412)

Cozens, D., Grahame, E., Sutherland, E., Taylor, G., Berry, C. C. and Davies, R. L. (2018) Development and optimization of a differentiated airway epithelial cell model of the bovine respiratory tract. Scientific Reports, 8, 853. (doi:10.1038/s41598-017-19079-y) (PMID:29339818) (PMCID:PMC5770467)


O'Boyle, N., Sutherland, E., Berry, C. C. and Davies, R. L. (2017) Temporal dynamics of ovine airway epithelial cell differentiation at an air-liquid interface. PLoS ONE, 12(7), e0181583. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0181583) (PMID:28746416) (PMCID:PMC5529025)

Lewis, N. S., Lewis, E. E.L., Mullin, M., Wheadon, H. , Dalby, M. J. and Berry, C. C. (2017) Magnetically levitated mesenchymal stem cell spheroids cultured with a collagen gel maintain phenotype and quiescence. Journal of Tissue Engineering, 8, pp. 1-11. (doi:10.1177/2041731417704428) (PMID:28616152) (PMCID:PMC5460809)


Lewis, E. E. L., Wheadon, H. , Lewis, N., Yang, J., Mullin, M., Hursthouse, A., Stirling, D., Dalby, M. J. and Berry, C. C. (2016) A quiescent, regeneration-responsive tissue engineered mesenchymal stem cell bone marrow niche model via magnetic levitation. ACS Nano, 10(9), pp. 8346-8354. (doi:10.1021/acsnano.6b02841) (PMID:27602872)

Douglas, F.J., MacLaren, D.A. , Maclean, N., Andreu, I., Kettles, F.J., Tuna, F., Berry, C.C., Castro, M. and Murrie, M. (2016) Gadolinium-doped magnetite nanoparticles from a single-source precursor. RSC Advances, 6(78), pp. 74500-74505. (doi:10.1039/C6RA18095G)


McCully, M., Hernandez, Y., Conde, J., Baptista, P. V., de la Fuente, J. M., Hursthouse, A., Stirling, D. and Berry, C. C. (2015) Significance of the balance between intracellular glutathione and polyethylene glycol for successful release of small interfering RNA from gold nanoparticles. Nano Research, 8(10), pp. 3281-3292. (doi:10.1007/s12274-015-0828-5)

Leal, M. P., Muñoz-Hernández, C., Berry, C. and García-Martín, M. L. (2015) In vivo pharmacokinetics of T2 contrast agents based on iron oxide nanoparticles: optimization of blood circulation times. RSC Advances, 5(94), pp. 76883-76891. (doi:10.1039/C5RA15680G)

Child, H. W., Hernandez, Y., Conde, J., Mullin, M., Baptista, P., de la Fuente, J. M. and Berry, C. (2015) Gold nanoparticle-siRNA mediated oncogene knockdown at RNA and protein level, with associated gene effects. Nanomedicine, 10(16), pp. 2513-2525. (doi:10.2217/NNM.15.95) (PMID:26302331)

Conde, J., Ambrosone, A., Hernandez, Y., Tian, F., McCully, M., Berry, C., Baptista, P. V., Tortiglione, C. and de la Fuente, J. M. (2015) 15 years on siRNA delivery: beyond the state-of-the-art on inorganic nanoparticles for RNAi therapeutics. Nano Today, 10(4), pp. 421-450. (doi:10.1016/j.nantod.2015.06.008)

Lewis, E. E.L., Child, H. W., Hursthouse, A., Stirling, D., McCully, M., Paterson, D., Mullin, M. and Berry, C. C. (2015) The influence of particle size and static magnetic fields on the uptake of magnetic nanoparticles into three dimensional cell-seeded collagen gel cultures. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B: Applied Biomaterials, 103(6), pp. 1294-1301. (doi:10.1002/jbm.b.33302)


Douglas, F.J., MacLaren, D.A. , Tuna, F., Holmes, W.H., Berry, C.C. and Murrie, M. (2014) Formation of octapod MnO nanoparticles with enhanced magnetic properties through kinetically-controlled thermal decomposition of polynuclear manganese complexes. Nanoscale, 6(1), p. 172. (doi:10.1039/C3NR04832B)


Chaudhary, S., Smith, C., del Pino, P., de la Fuente, J., Mullin, M., Hursthouse, A., Stirling, D. and Berry, C. C. (2013) Elucidating the function of penetratin and a static magnetic field in cellular uptake of magnetic nanoparticles. Pharmaceuticals, 6(2), pp. 204-222. (doi:10.3390/ph6020204) (PMID:24275948) (PMCID:PMC3816682)


Conde, J. et al. (2012) Design of multifunctional gold nanoparticles for in vitro and in vivo gene silencing. ACS Nano, 6(9), pp. 8316-8324. (doi:10.1021/nn3030223) (PMID:22882598)

Dejardin, T., de la Fuente, J., del Pino, P., Furlani, E.P., Mullin, M., Smith, C.A. and Berry, C.C. (2012) Influence of both a static magnetic field and penetratin on magnetic nanoparticle delivery into fibroblasts. Nanomedicine, 6(10), pp. 1719-1731. (doi:10.2217/nnm.11.65)


Child, H.W., Del Pino, P.A., De La Fuenta, J., Hursthouse, A.S., Stirling, D., Mullen, M., McPhee, G.M., Nixon, C., Jayawarna, V. and Berry, C.C. (2011) Working together: the combined application of a magnetic field and penetratin for the delivery of magnetic nanoparticles to cells in 3D. ACS Nano, 5(10), pp. 7910-7919. (doi:10.1021/nn202163v)

Brydone, A. S., Dalby, M. J. , Berry, C. C., Dominic Meek, R.M. D. and McNamara, L. E. (2011) Grooved surface topography alters matrix-metalloproteinase production by human fibroblasts. Biomedical Materials, 6(3), 035005. (doi:10.1088/1748-6041/6/3/035005)


Smith, C.-A.M., de la Fuente, J., Pelaz, B., Furlani, E.P., Mullin, M. and Berry, C.C. (2010) The effect of static magnetic fields and tat peptides on cellular and nuclear uptake of magnetic nanoparticles. Biomaterials, 31(15), pp. 4392-4400. (doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.01.096)

McMurray, R.J., Gadegaard, N. , Dalby, M.J. , Tsimbouri, P.M. , Maclaine, S., Meek, D., McNamara, L.E., Child, H. and Berry, C.C. (2010) Research highlights. Nanomedicine, 5(10), pp. 1495-1499. (doi:10.2217/nnm.10.119)


Berry, C.C., Harianawalw, H., Loebus, J., Oreffo, R.O. and de la Fuente, J. (2009) Enhancement of Human Bone Marrow Cell Uptake of Quantum Dots using Tat Peptide. Current Nanoscience, 5(4), pp. 390-395.

Green, M., Howes, P., Berry, C.C., Argyros, O. and Thanou, M. (2009) Simple conjugated polymer nanoparticles as biological labels. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 465(2109), pp. 2751-2759. (doi:10.1098/rspa.2009.0181)

Berry, C.C., Shelton, J.C. and Lee, D.A. (2009) Cell-generated forces influence the viability, metabolism and mechanical properties of fibroblast-seeded collagen gel constructs. Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, 3(1), pp. 43-53. (doi:10.1002/term.133)

Berry, C.C. (2009) Progress in functionalization of magnetic nanoparticles for applications in biomedicine. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 42(22), p. 224003. (doi:10.1088/0022-3727/42/22/224003)

Berry, C.C. and de la Fuente, J.M. (2009) Functionalization of gold nanoparticles and CdS quantum dots with cell penetrating peptides. In: Colloidal Quantum Dots for Biomedical Applications IV, San Jose, CA, USA, Saturday 24 January 2009, 71890U. (doi:10.1117/12.816237)


Berry, C.C., McCloy, D. and Affrossman, S. (2008) Endothelial cell response to narrow diameter nylon tubes exhibiting internal nanotopography. Current Nanoscience, 4(2), pp. 219-223.

Berry, C.C. (2008) Intracellular delivery of nanoparticles via the HIV-1 tat peptide. Nanomedicine, 3(3), pp. 357-365. (doi:10.2217/17435889.3.3.357)


Berry, C. (2007) Nuclear localization of HIV-1 tat functionalized gold nanoparticles. IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience, 6(4), pp. 262-269. (doi:10.1109/TNB.2007.908973)

Berry, C.C., Curtis, A.S.G., Oreffo, R.O.C., Agheli, H. and Sutherland, D.S. (2007) Human fibroblast and human bone marrow cell response to lithographically nanopatterned adhesive domains on protein rejecting substrates. IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience, 6(3), pp. 201-209. (doi:10.1109/TNB.2007.903457)


Berry, C.C., Dalby, M.J. , Oreffo, R.O.C., McCloy, D. and Affrosman, S. (2006) The interaction of human bone marrow cells with nanotopographical features in three dimensional constructs. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A, 79A, pp. 431-439. (doi:10.1002/jbm.a.30960)

de la Fuente, J., Andar, A., Gadegaard, N., Berry, C., Kingshott, P. and Riehle, M.O. (2006) Fluorescent aromatic platforms for cell patterning. Langmuir, 22, pp. 5528-5532. (doi:10.1021/la053045s)

de la Fuente, J., Berry, C., Riehle, M.O. and Curtis, A. (2006) Nanoparticle targeting at cells. Langmuir, 22, pp. 3286-3293. (doi:10.1021/la053029v)


de la Fuente, J.M., Fandel, M., Berry, C.C., Riehle, M. , Cronin, L. , Aitchison, G. and Curtis, A.S.G. (2005) Quantum dots protected with tiopronin: a new fluorescence system for cell-biology studies. ChemBioChem, 6(6), pp. 989-991. (doi:10.1002/cbic.200500071)

Berry, C.C. (2005) Automatic tracking, feature extraction and classification of C elegans phenotypes. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 51(10), pp. 1811-1820. (doi:10.1109/TBME.2004.831532)

Berry, C. (2005) Possible exploitation of magnetic nanoparticle-cell interaction for biomedical applications. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 15, pp. 543-547. (doi:10.1039/b409715g)

Berry, C., Dalby, M. , McCloy, D. and Affrossman, S. (2005) The fibroblast response to tubes exhibiting internal nanotopography. Biomaterials, 26, pp. 4985-4992. (doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2005.01.046)

de la Fuente, J. and Berry, C. (2005) Tat peptide as an efficient molecule to translocate gold nanoparticles into the cell nucleus. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 16, pp. 1176-1180. (doi:10.1021/bc050033+)


Berry, C., Campbell, G., Spadiccino, A., Robertson, M. and Curtis, A.S.G. (2004) The influence of microscale topography on fibroblast attachment and motility. Biomaterials, 25(26), pp. 5781-5788. (doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2004.01.029)

Berry, C.C., Campbell, G., Spadiccino, A., Robertson, M. and Curtis, A.S.G. (2004) The influence of microscale topography on fibroblast attachment and motility. Biomaterials, 25(26), pp. 5781-5788. (doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2004.01.029)

Berry, C.C., Wells, S., Charles, S., Aitchison, G. and Curtis, A.S.G. (2004) Cell response to dextran-derivatised iron oxide nanoparticles post internalisation. Biomaterials, 25(23), pp. 5405-5413. (doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2003.12.046)

Dalby, M.J. , Berry, C.C., Riehle, M.O. , Sutherland, D.S., Agheli, H. and Curtis, A.S.G. (2004) Attempted endocytosis of nano-environment produced by colloidal lithography by human fibroblasts. Experimental Cell Research, 295(2), pp. 387-394. (doi:10.1016/j.yexcr.2004.02.004)

Mikhaylova, M., Kim, D.K., Berry, C.C., Zagorodni, A., Toprak, M., Curtis, A.S.G. and Muhammed, M. (2004) BSA immobilization on amine-functionalized superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. Chemistry of Materials, 16(12), pp. 2344-2354. (doi:10.1021/cm0348904)

Berry, C.C., Charles, S., Wells, S., Dalby, M.J. and Curtis, A.S.G. (2004) The influence of transferrin stabilised magnetic nanoparticles on human dermal fibroblasts in culture. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 269(1), pp. 211-225. (doi:10.1016/j.ijpharm.2003.09.042)

Mikhaylova, M., Berry, C.C., Kim, D.K., Jo, Y.S., Curtis, A.S.G. and Muhammed, M. (2004) In vitro reaction of human fibroblasts with gold – and L-aspartic acid – functionalized superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. Annals of Transplantation, 9(Sup 1A), pp. 79-81.


Gupta, A.K., Berry, C.C., Gupta, M. and Curtis, A.S.G. (2003) Receptor-mediated targeting of magnetic nanoparticles using insulin as a surface ligand to prevent endocytosis. IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience, 2(4), pp. 255-261. (doi:10.1109/TNB.2003.820279)

Berry, C.C., Wells, S., Charles, S. and Curtis, A.S.G. (2003) Dextran and albumin derivatised iron oxide nanoparticles: influence on fibroblasts in vitro. Biomaterials, 24(25), pp. 4551-4557. (doi:10.1016/S0142-9612(03)00237-0)

Berry, C. (2003) Dermal fibroblasts respond to mechanical conditioning in a strain profile dependent manner. Biorheology, 40(39508), pp. 337-345.

Berry, C. (2003) Influence of External Uniaxial Cyclic Strain on Oriented Fibroblast-Seeded Collagen Gels. Tissue Engineering, 9(4), pp. 613-624. (doi:10.1089/107632703768247313)

Berry, C.C. and Curtis, A.S.G. (2003) Functionalisation of magnetic nanoparticles for applications in biomedicine. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 36(13), R198-R206. (doi:10.1088/0022-3727/36/13/203)


Berry, C.C., Rudershausen, S., Teller, J. and Curtis, A.S.G. (2002) The influence of elastin-coated 520-nm- and 20-nm-diameter nanoparticles on human fibroblasts in vitro. IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience, 1(3), pp. 105-109. (doi:10.1109/TNB.2003.809467)

This list was generated on Sat Dec 15 13:26:03 2018 GMT.