Differential Internalization of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles in Different Types of Cells

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Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) have attracted great attention for nanomedical applications, but the mechanisms underlying the transmembrane transport of SPION in variant cells has not been fully defined. The present study investigated the internalization of SPION in three cell models with different phagocytic capacity using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) analyses. The EDS study aimed to further confirm if the suspected internalized particles were iron-containing SPION. SPION could be taken up quickly by macrophage-like cell line RAW264.7 (with strong phagocytic capacity) and slowly by the 3T3-L1 cells (with weak phagocytic capacity), but not by red blood cells (with no phagocytic capacity). The internalized SPION were mainly found in the cytoplasmic vesicles, with no localization in the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria and nucleus. We conclude that the internalization of SPION in the three types of mammalian cells was mediated by phagocytosis, not by direct membrane penetration.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2010.2830

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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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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