Fluorescent magnetic nanoparticles for modulating the level of intracellular Ca2+ in motoneurons†
This report introduces both synthesis and in vitro biological behaviour of dual magnetic-fluorescent silica nanoparticles. The amino group-decoration of 78 nm sized silica nanoparticles enables their efficient internalization into motoneurons, which is visualized by the red fluorescence arising from [Ru(dipy)3]2+ complexes encapsulated into a silica matrix. The internalized nanoparticles are predominantly located in the cell cytoplasm as revealed by confocal microscopy imaging. The magnetic function of the nanoparticles resulted from the incorporation of 17 nm sized superparamagnetic iron oxide cores into the silica matrix, enabling their responsivity to magnetic fields. Fluorescence analysis revealed the “on–off” switching of Ca2+ influx under the application and further removal of the permanent magnetic field. This result for the first time highlights the movement of the nanoparticles within the cell cytoplasm in the permanent magnetic field as a promising tool to enhance the neuronal activity of motoneurons.