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Elemental bio-imaging of PEGylated NaYF4: Yb/Tm/Gd upconversion nanoparticles in mouse by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to study toxic side effects on spleen, liver and kidney

Abstract

Rare-earth upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) are considered stable nanoprobes with low toxicity and deep tissue penetration. However, the increasing use of UCNPs has raised concerns about their potential toxicity in living organisms. Very few studies have reported the toxicity of UCNPs; hence, it is not possible to conclude yet that UCNPs are safe. In this study, the distribution of PEGylated NaYF4:Yb/Tm/Gd nanoparticles (PEG-UCNPs) in female Balb/c mice followed intravenous administration, and the imaging in the spleen, liver and kidney were examined by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). PEG-UCNPs distributed primarily to the liver and spleen, with significant but lower levels being noted in the kidney, heart, and lung. At the sub-organ level, PEG-UCNPs mainly accumulated within the red pulp of the spleen instead of the white pulp, which indicated that PEG-UCNPs are poorly immunogenic, or not immunogenic at all. The imaging of Cu in liver and spleen showed that the primary clearance organ for PEG-UCNPs is the liver, although it is accumulated in the spleen rather than the liver. This can be explained that excess superoxide anion produced by phagocytosis of the PEG-UCNPs needs Cu-Zn-superoxide dismutase converted to hydrogen peroxide. From the Fe, Cu, and Zn imaging of the kidney, it was concluded that PEG-UCNPs do not exhibit nephrotoxicity.

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Publication details

The article was accepted on 22 Jun 2017 and first published on 12 Jul 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7MT00132K
Citation: Metallomics, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Elemental bio-imaging of PEGylated NaYF4: Yb/Tm/Gd upconversion nanoparticles in mouse by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to study toxic side effects on spleen, liver and kidney

    Q. Li, Z. Wang, Y. Chen and G. Zhang, Metallomics, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7MT00132K

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