Targeting of porous hybrid silica nanoparticles to cancer cells

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    Abstract

    Mesoporous silica nanoparticles functionalized by surface hyperbranching polymerization of poly(ethylene imine), PEI, were further modified by introducing both fluorescent and targeting moieties, with the aim of specifically targeting cancer cells. Owing to the high abundance of folate receptors in many cancer cells as compared to normal cells, folic acid was used as the targeting ligand. The internalization of the particles in cell lines expressing different levels of folate receptors was studied. Flow cytometry was used to quantify the mean number of nanoparticles internalized per cell. Five times more particles were internalized by cancer cells expressing folate receptors as compared to the normal cells expressing low levels of the receptor. Not only the number of nanoparticles internalized per cell, but also the fraction of cells that had internalized nanoparticles was higher. The total number of particles internalized by the cancer cells was, therefore, about an order of magnitude higher than the total number of particles internalized by normal cells, a difference high enough to be of significant biological importance. In addition, the biospecifically tagged hybrid PEI-silica particles were shown to be noncytotoxic and able to specifically target folate receptor-expressing cancer cells also under coculture conditions.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)197–206
    JournalACS Nano
    Volume3
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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