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Analyses of protein corona on bare and silica-coated gold nanorods against four mammalian cells

Authors Das M, Yi DK, An SSA

Received 21 October 2014

Accepted for publication 7 December 2014

Published 20 February 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 1521—1545

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S76187

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J Webster


Minakshi Das,1 Dong Kee Yi,2 Seong Soo A An1

1Department of Bionanotechnology, Gachon University, Seongnam, Republic of Korea; 2Department of Chemistry, Myongji University, Yongin, Republic of Korea

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the mechanisms responsible for the toxic effects of gold nanorods (AuNRs). Here, a comprehensive study was performed by examining the effects of bare (uncoated) AuNRs and AuNRs functionalized with silica (SiO2-AuNRs) against various mammalian cell lines, including cervical cancer cells, fibroblast cells, human umbilical vein endothelial cells, and neuroblastoma cells. The interactions between AuNRs and mammalian cells were investigated with cell viability and mortality assays. Dihydrorhodamine-123 assay was carried out for evaluating reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, along with mass spectroscopy analysis for determining the composition of the protein corona. Our results suggest that even the lowest concentrations of AuNRs (0.7 µg/mL) induced ROS production leading to cell mortality. On the other hand, cellular viability and ROS production were maintained even at a higher concentration of SiO2-coated AuNRs (12 µg/mL). The increased production of ROS by AuNRs seemed to cause the toxicity observed in all four mammalian cell types. The protein corona on the bare AuNRs did not appear to reduce ROS generation; however, different compositions of the protein corona on bare and SiO2-coated AuNRs may affect cellular behavior differently. Therefore, it was determined that SiO2-coated AuNRs would be more advantageous than bare AuNRs for cellular applications.

Keywords: gold nanorods, silica coating, oxidative stress, mammalian cells, cell toxicity, protein corona

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