The uptake and intracellular fate of a series of different surface coated quantum dots in vitro

M. J D Clift, Christina Brandenberger, Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser, David M. Brown, Vicki Stone

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    49 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Quantum dots (QDs) are potentially beneficial semi-conductor nanocrystals for use in diagnostics and therapeutics. The chemical composition of QDs however, has raised concerns as to their potential toxicity. Although a thorough examination using specific biochemical endpoints is necessary to assess QD toxicity, an understanding of the interaction of QDs, specifically their uptake and intracellular fate, with biological systems is also essential in determining their potential hazardous effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the uptake and intracellular fate of a series of different surface coated QDs (organic, carboxylated (COOH) and amino (NH2) polyethylene glycol (PEG)) in J774.A1 'murine macrophage-like' cells. Model 20 nm and 200 nm COOH polystyrene beads (PBs) were also studied. Results showed that COOH and NH2 (PEG) QDs, as well as 20 nm and 200 nm PBs were located within lysosomes and the mitochondria of macrophages after 2 h. Additionally, elemental transmission electron microscopy confirmed both COOH and NH2 (PEG) QDs to be located within membrane-bound compartments at this time point. The data from this study combined with current knowledge, indicates that the intracellular localisation of QDs could be directly related to their toxicity. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)58-68
    JournalToxicology
    Volume286
    Issue number1-3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2011

    Keywords

    • Cellular uptake
    • Intracellular fate
    • Macrophages
    • Nanomedicine
    • Nanoparticles
    • Quantum dots

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