Quantification of gold nanoparticle cell uptake under controlled biological conditions and adequate resolution

Different uptake mechanisms of fluorescently labeled polymer-coated gold nanoparticles were investigated in human alveolar epithelial cells. For this, different endocytotic inhibitors were used to assess their specificity and cytotoxicity. Laser scanning and transmission electron microscopy, as well as stereology, were our methods of choice to quantify nanoparticle uptake. By following this approach, we elucidated the entry pathway of these polymer-coated gold nanoparticless, which entered the cells via caveolin-mediated endocytosis. In turn, this knowledge is relevant to understand the underlying nanoparticle-cell interactions at a basic level, and consequently the risks or benefits of the materials.

Principal investigator

Involved people

External partners

Prof. Wolfgang Parak

AG Biophotonik, Philipps Universit├Ąt Marburg, Deutschland


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