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Issue 11, 2009
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Cell up-take control of gold nanoparticles functionalized with a thermoresponsive polymer

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Abstract

Surface decoration of gold nanoparticles with thermoresponsive polymers endows a temperature tunable colloidal system switchable for enhanced intracellular up-take. Gold nanoparticles (AuNP, 18 ± 11 nm-diameter) produced by laser ablation synthesis in liquid solution were surface coated with thermoresponsive thiol terminated poly-N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylamide co-polymer possessing a lower critical solution temperature (LCST) at 37 °C. Under selected conditions about 3800 polymer chains were conjugated per particle. The polymer coated nanoparticles were found to display thermosensitive properties, as in solution they exhibited reversible aggregation/deaggregation above and below the LCST, respectively. Cell culture studies showed that the polymer decorated AuNP were located into human breast adenocarcinoma MCF7 cells treated at 40 °C (12000 AuNP/cell) with more than 80-fold greater up-take compared to cells treated at 34 °C with the same particles (140 AuN/cell). This difference is attributable to a ‘switching’ of the polymer coating to a globule state at 37 °C and an increased hydrophobicity of the particles with a simultaneous loss of the ‘stealth’ properties of the polymer coating. By contrast, cell up-take of uncoated AuNP (about 6000 AuNP/cell) did not depend on the incubation temperature. These data show that good control of the AuNP cell up-take can be obtained with the new polymer-gold nanoconjugates, and suggest that these systems might find use for targeting cellsin vitro by a small temperature change or in vivo in body sites, such as inflamed or tumour tissues, where a temperature variation is already present.

Graphical abstract: Cell up-take control of gold nanoparticles functionalized with a thermoresponsive polymer

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Sep 2008, accepted on 17 Dec 2008 and first published on 04 Feb 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B816603J
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2009,19, 1608-1615
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    Cell up-take control of gold nanoparticles functionalized with a thermoresponsive polymer

    S. Salmaso, P. Caliceti, V. Amendola, M. Meneghetti, J. P. Magnusson, G. Pasparakis and C. Alexander, J. Mater. Chem., 2009, 19, 1608
    DOI: 10.1039/B816603J

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