pH-controlled delivery of luminescent europium coated nanoparticles into platelets

Amy Davies, David J. Lewis, Stephen P. Watson, Steven G. Thomas, Zoe Pikramenou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Water soluble, luminescent gold nanoparticles are delivered into human platelets via a rapid, pH-controlled mechanism using a pH low insertion peptide, pHLIP. The approach introduces cocoating of gold nanoparticles with a europium luminescent complex, EuL and the pHLIP peptide to give pHLIP.EuL.Au. The 13-nm diameter gold nanoparticles act as a scaffold for the attachment of both the luminescent probe and the peptide to target delivery. Their size allows delivery of approximately 640 lanthanide probes per nanoparticle to be internalized in human platelets, which are not susceptible to transfection or microinjection. The internalization of pHLIP.EuL.Au in platelets, which takes just minutes, was studied with a variety of imaging modalities including luminescence, confocal reflection, and transmission electron microscopy. The results show that pHLIP.EuL.Au only enters the platelets in low pH conditions, pH 6.5, mediated by the pHLIP translocation across the membrane, and not at pH 7.4. Luminescence microscopy images of the treated platelets show clearly the red luminescence signal from the europium probe and confocal reflection microscopy confirms the presence of the gold particles. Furthermore, transmission electron microscopy gives a detailed insight of the internalization and spatial localization of the gold nanoparticles in the platelets. Thus, we demonstrate the potential of the design to translocate multimodal nanoparticle probes into cells in a pH dependent manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1862-1867
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Volume109
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2012

Keywords

  • imaging
  • lanthanides
  • multimodal probes
  • pH low insertion peptide
  • INSERTION PEPTIDE PHLIP
  • IN-VIVO
  • GOLD NANOPARTICLES
  • QUANTUM DOTS
  • LANTHANIDE LUMINESCENCE
  • LAMELLIPODIA FORMATION
  • MEMBRANE PEPTIDE
  • CELLS
  • TRANSLOCATION
  • STABILITY

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