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Uptake of Functionalized Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles by Human Cancer Cells

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Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSN) were functionalised by aminofluorescein (AMF) with diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid spacer molecules which provide free carboxylic groups for binding cell-specific ligands such as folate. AMF allowed the exploration of cellular uptake by HeLa cells using confocal microscopy and flow cytometry. The functionalized nanoparticles (MSN-AMF) penetrated efficiently into HeLa cell cytoplasm through a clathrin dependent endocytosis mechanism. The number of endocytosed MSN-AMF was enhanced when using folate as a targeting molecule. Uptake kinetics revealed that most of MSN-AMF were internalized within 4 h of incubation. Moreover, we found that MSN-AMF were capable of escaping the acidic endolysosomal vesicles of HeLa cells. Cytotoxicity studies suggested that these nanoparticles are non-toxic to HeLa cells up to a dose level of 50 g/ml.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-04-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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