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Important factors for cell-membrane permeabilization by gold nanoparticles activated by nanosecond-laser irradiation

Authors Yao CP, Rudnitzki F, Hüttmann G, Zhang ZX, Rahmanzadeh R

Received 28 April 2017

Accepted for publication 7 July 2017

Published 7 August 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 5659—5672

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S140620

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lakshmi Kiran Chelluri

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang


Cuiping Yao,1,2,* Florian Rudnitzki,2,* Gereon Hüttmann,2,3 Zhenxi Zhang,1 Ramtin Rahmanzadeh2

1Key Laboratory of Biomedical Information Engineering of Education Ministry, Institute of Biomedical Analytical Technology and Instrumentation, School of Life Science and Technology, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China; 2Institute of Biomedical Optics, University of Lübeck, Lübeck, 3Airway Research Center North (ARCN), Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Kiel, Germany

*These authors contributed equally to this work

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.

Keywords: cell-membrane permeabilization, optimization, molecule delivery, gold nanoparticles

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