Single-walled carbon nanohorns decorated with semiconductor quantum dots to evaluate intracellular transport

Kristen A. Zimmermann, David L. Inglefield, Jianfei Zhang, Harry C. Dorn, Timothy E. Long, Christopher G. Rylander, M. Nichole Rylander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Single-walled carbon nanohorns (SWNHs) have great potential to enhance thermal and chemotherapeutic drug efficiencies for cancer therapies. Despite their diverse capabilities, minimal research has been conducted so far to study nanoparticle intracellular transport, which is an important step in designing efficient therapies. SWNHs, like many other carbon nanomaterials, do not have inherent fluorescence properties making intracellular transport information difficult to obtain. The goals of this project were to (1) develop a simple reaction scheme to decorate the exohedral surface of SWNHs with fluorescent quantum dots (QDs) and improve conjugate stability, and (2) evaluate SWNH-QD conjugate cellular uptake kinetics and localization in various cancer cell lines of differing origins and morphologies. In this study, SWNHs were conjugated to CdSe/ZnS core/shell QDs using a unique approach to carbodiimide chemistry. Transmission electron microscopy and electron dispersive spectroscopy verified the conjugation of SWNHs and QDs. Cellular uptake kinetics and efficiency were characterized in three malignant cell lines: U-87 MG (glioblastoma), MDA-MB-231 (breast cancer), and AY-27 (bladder transitional cell carcinoma) using flow cytometry. Cellular distribution was verified by confocal microscopy, and cytotoxicity was also evaluated using an alamarBlue assay. Results indicate that cellular uptake kinetics and efficiency are highly dependent on cell type, highlighting the significance of studying nanoparticle transport at the cellular level. Nanoparticle intracellular transport investigations may provide information to optimize treatment parameters (e.g., SWNH concentration, treatment time, etc.) depending on tumor etiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2078
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Cellular distribution
  • Nanobiotechnology
  • Quantum dot (QD)
  • Single-walled carbon nanohorn (SWNH)
  • Uptake kinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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