Gold nanoparticle interactions with endothelial cells cultured under physiological conditions
PEGylated gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have an extended circulation time after intravenous injection in vivo and exhibit favorable properties for biosensing, diagnostic imaging, and cancer treatment. No impact of PEGylated AuNPs on the barrier forming properties of endothelial cells (ECs) has been reported, but recent studies demonstrated that unexpected effects on erythrocytes are observed. Almost all studies to date have been with static-cultured ECs. Herein, ECs maintained under physiological cyclic stretch and flow conditions and used to generate a blood–brain barrier model were exposed to 20 nm PEGylated AuNPs. An evaluation of toxic effects, cell stress, the release profile of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and blood–brain barrier properties showed that even under physiological conditions no obvious effects of PEGylated AuNPs on ECs were observed. These findings suggest that 20 nm-sized, PEGylated AuNPs may be a useful tool for biomedical applications, as they do not affect the normal function of healthy ECs after entering the blood stream.