In the present study, the in vivo distribution of polyelectrolyte multilayer coated gold nanoparticles is shown, starting from the living animal down to cellular level. The coating was designed with functional moieties to serve as a potential nano drug for prion disease. With near infrared time-domain imaging we followed the biodistribution in mice up to 7 days after intravenous injection of the nanoparticles. The peak concentration in the head of mice was detected between 19 and 24 h. The precise particle distribution in the brain was studied ex vivo by X-ray microtomography, confocal laser and fluorescence microscopy. We found that the particles mainly accumulate in the hippocampus, thalamus, hypothalamus, and the cerebral cortex.
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