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Uptake of bright fluorophore core-silica shell nanoparticles by biological systems

Authors Zane A, McCracken C, Knight DA, Young T, Lutton AD, Olesik JW, Waldman WJ, Dutta PK

Received 22 October 2014

Accepted for publication 26 November 2014

Published 20 February 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 1547—1567

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S76208

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster

Andrew Zane,1 Christie McCracken,2 Deborah A Knight,2 Tanya Young,1 Anthony D Lutton,3 John W Olesik,3 W James Waldman,2 Prabir K Dutta1

1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 2Department of Pathology, 3School of Earth Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

Abstract: Nanoparticles are used in a variety of consumer applications. Silica nanoparticles in particular are common, including as a component of foods. There are concerns that ingested nanosilica particles can cross the intestinal epithelium, enter the circulation, and accumulate in tissues and organs. Thus, tracking these particles is of interest, and fluorescence spectroscopic methods are well-suited for this purpose. However, nanosilica is not fluorescent. In this article, we focus on core-silica shell nanoparticles, using fluorescent Rhodamine 6G, Rhodamine 800, or CdSe/CdS/ZnS quantum dots as the core. These stable fluorophore/silica nanoparticles had surface characteristics similar to those of commercial silica particles. Thus, they were used as model particles to examine internalization by cultured cells, including an epithelial cell line relevant to the gastrointestinal tract. Finally, these particles were administered to mice by gavage, and their presence in various organs, including stomach, small intestine, cecum, colon, kidney, lung, brain, and spleen, was examined. By combining confocal fluorescence microscopy with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, the presence of nanoparticles, rather than their dissolved form, was established in liver tissues.

Keywords: quantum dots, dyes, optical spectroscopy, NMR, zeta potential, mouse model, macrophages, Caco-2, nanoparticles in foods


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