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Nanomedicine : nanotechnology, biology, and medicine

A method for the efficient cellular uptake and retention of small modified gold nanoparticles for the radiosensitization of cells.


PMID 24674970

Abstract

Gold nanoparticles (GNP) enhance the absorbance of photons thereby increasing emission of Auger-/photoelectrons in the nm-μm range. Yet, a major disadvantage is their diameter-dependent cellular uptake with an optimum of ~50 nm which may not offer optimal radiosensitization. A method was developed to enhance the uptake of small GNP. GNP (10nm) were linked to DNA and transferred into HeLa cells by transient transfection (GNP-DT). Treatment of cells with GNP-DT resulted in a strong perinuclear focal accumulation, whereas this was dimmer and sparser for GNP-T (lacking DNA) and close to background levels in GNP-treated cells. Only GNP-DT showed a significant radiosensitizing effect (p=0.005) on clonogenic survival using clinically relevant megavolt x-rays. Our novel method markedly increases the uptake/retention and alters the localization of small GNP in cells compared to unmodified GNP. This work finally enables studying the radiosensitizing effects of differentially sized GNP. In an effort to increase the radiosensitization of HeLa cells, his paper discusses a transient transfection-based method to enhance gold nanoparticle intracellular delivery.

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