Cellular interaction of peptide surface-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles with cells

For surface functionalized nanoparticles (NPs) intended for theranostic application there remains limited understanding as to their cellular interaction. Reasoning for this is due to reliability issues in their synthesis and the specific analytical approach used. In the present study, when investigating the interaction of silica hybrid magnetic nanoparticles (SHMNPs); produced via a reproducible magnetic microreactor set-up and coupled with specific surface peptides and ligands; with both epithelial and macrophage cells, by complementing confocal laser scanning microscopy with both electron and dark field microscopy as well as flow cytometry, it was possible to clearly identify and semi-quantify the cellular uptake and intracellular localisation of SHMNPs, at sub-lethal concentrations, over 24 hours. The findings of this study, which showed a cell, time and concentration dependent uptake of SHMNPs within vesicular structures, emphasize the imperative need to incorporate a variety of complementary state of-the-art analytical approaches in order to assess the NP-cell interaction.

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