Quantification of the internalization patterns of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles with opposite charge
1 Pharmaceutics and Biopharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Philipps University of Marburg, Ketzerbach 63, Marburg, D 35037, Germany
2 Biophotonics Group and WZMW, Institute of Physics, Philipps University of Marburg, Renthof 7, Marburg, D 35037, Germany
Journal of Nanobiotechnology 2012, 10:28 doi:10.1186/1477-3155-10-28Published: 10 July 2012
Time-resolved quantitative colocalization analysis is a method based on confocal fluorescence microscopy allowing for a sophisticated characterization of nanomaterials with respect to their intracellular trafficking. This technique was applied to relate the internalization patterns of nanoparticles i.e. superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles with distinct physicochemical characteristics with their uptake mechanism, rate and intracellular fate.
The physicochemical characterization of the nanoparticles showed particles of approximately the same size and shape as well as similar magnetic properties, only differing in charge due to different surface coatings. Incubation of the cells with both nanoparticles resulted in strong differences in the internalization rate and in the intracellular localization depending on the charge. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of nanoparticles-organelle colocalization experiments revealed that positively charged particles were found to enter the cells faster using different endocytotic pathways than their negative counterparts. Nevertheless, both nanoparticles species were finally enriched inside lysosomal structures and their efficiency in agarose phantom relaxometry experiments was very similar.
This quantitative analysis demonstrates that charge is a key factor influencing the nanoparticle-cell interactions, specially their intracellular accumulation. Despite differences in their physicochemical properties and intracellular distribution, the efficiencies of both nanoparticles as MRI agents were not significantly different.