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Important Factors For Cell-membrane Permeabilization By Gold Nanoparticles Activated By Nanosecond-laser Irradiation

Cuiping Yao, F. Rudnitzki, G. Hüttmann, Z. Zhang, R. Rahmanzadeh
Published 2017 · Chemistry, Biology, Physics

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Purpose Pulsed-laser irradiation of light-absorbing gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) attached to cells transiently increases cell membrane permeability for targeted molecule delivery. Here, we targeted EGFR on the ovarian carcinoma cell line OVCAR-3 with AuNPs. In order to optimize membrane permeability and to demonstrate molecule delivery into adherent OVCAR-3 cells, we systematically investigated different experimental conditions. Materials and methods AuNPs (30 nm) were functionalized by conjugation of the antibody cetuximab against EGFR. Selective binding of the particles was demonstrated by silver staining, multiphoton imaging, and fluorescence-lifetime imaging. After laser irradiation, membrane permeability of OVCAR-3 cells was studied under different conditions of AuNP concentration, cell-incubation medium, and cell–AuNP incubation time. Membrane permeability and cell viability were evaluated by flow cytometry, measuring propidium iodide and fluorescein isothiocyanate–dextran uptake. Results Adherently growing OVCAR-3 cells can be effectively targeted with EGFR-AuNP. Laser irradiation led to successful permeabilization, and 150 kDa dextran was successfully delivered into cells with about 70% efficiency. Conclusion Antibody-targeted and laser-irradiated AuNPs can be used to deliver molecules into adherent cells. Efficacy depends not only on laser parameters but also on AuNP:cell ratio, cell-incubation medium, and cell–AuNP incubation time.
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