Cell uptake, intracellular distribution, fate and reactive oxygen species generation of polymer brush engineered CeO2−x NPs†
Cerium Oxide nanoparticles (CeO2−x NPs) are modified with polymer brushes of negatively charged poly (3-sulfopropylmethacrylate) (PSPM) and positively charged poly (2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl-trimethylammonium chloride) (PMETAC) by Atom Transfer Radical Polymerisation (ATRP). CeO2−x NPs are fluorescently labelled by covalently attaching Alexa Fluor® 488/Fluorescein isothiocyanate to the NP surface prior to polymerisation. Cell uptake, intracellular distribution and the impact on the generation of intracellular Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) with respect to CeO2−x NPs are studied by means of Raman Confocal Microscopy (CRM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS). PSPM and PMETAC coated CeO2−x NPs show slower and less uptake compared to uncoated Brush modified NPs display a higher degree of co-localisation with cell endosomes and lysosomes after 24 h of incubation. They also show higher co-localisation with lipid bodies when compared to unmodified CeO2−x NPs. The brush coating does not prevent CeO2−x NPs from displaying antioxidant properties.