Dynamic Cellular Uptake of Mixed-Monolayer Protected Nanoparticles
Nanoparticles (NPs) are gaining increasing attention for potential application in medicine; consequently, studying their interaction with cells is of central importance. We found that both ligand arrangement and composition on gold nanoparticles play a crucial role in their cellular internalization. In our previous investigation, we showed that 66-34OT nanoparticles coated with stripe-like domains of hydrophobic (octanethiol, OT, 34%) and hydrophilic (11-mercaptoundecane sulfonate, MUS, 66%) ligands permeated through the cellular lipid bilayer via passive diffusion, in addition to endo-/pino-cytosis. Here, we show an analysis of NP internalization by DC2.4, 3T3, and HeLa cells at two temperatures and multiple time points. We study four NPs that differ in their surface structures and ligand compositions and report on their cellular internalization by intracellular fluorescence quantification. Using confocal laser scanning microscopy we have found that all three cell types internalize the 66-34OT NPs more than particles coated only with MUS, or particles coated with a very similar coating but lacking any detectable ligand shell structure, or 'striped' particles but with a different composition (34-66OT) at multiple data points.