Intracellular nanoparticle dynamics affected by cytoskeletal integrity†
The cell interior is a crowded chemical space, which limits the diffusion of molecules and organelles within the cytoplasm, affecting the rates of chemical reactions. We provide insight into the relationship between non-specific intracellular diffusion and cytoskeletal integrity. Quantum dots entered the cell through microinjection and their spatial coordinates were captured by tracking their fluorescence signature as they diffused within the cell cytoplasm. Particle tracking revealed significant enhancement in the mobility of biocompatible quantum dots within fibrosarcoma cells versus their healthy counterparts, fibroblasts, as well as in actin destabilized fibroblasts versus untreated fibroblasts. Analyzing the displacement distributions provided insight into how the heterogeneity of the cell cytoskeleton influences intracellular particle diffusion. We demonstrate that intracellular diffusion of non-specific nanoparticles is enhanced by disrupting the actin network, which has implications for drug delivery efficacy and trafficking.