Synthesis and Characterization of Isothiocyanate Functionalized Silicon Nanoparticles and their uptake in cultured colonic cells
The functionalisation of silicon nanoparticles with a terminal thiocyanate group, producing isothiocyanate-capped silicon nanoparticles (ITC-capped SiNPs) has been successfully attained. The procedure for synthesis is a two-step process that occurs via thermally induced hydrosilylation of hydrogen terminated silicon nanoparticle (H-SiNPs) and further reaction with potassium thiocyanate (KSCN). The synthesis was confirmed by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). At the same time, the internalisation and the cytotoxicity of ITC-capped SiNPs in vitro was assessed in two cell lines: Caco-2, human colorectal cancer cells and CCD-841, human colon “normal” cells. The results showed that above concentrations of 15 μg/ml, the cell viability of both cell lines depleted significantly when treated with ITC SiNPs, particularly over a 48 hour period, to approximately 20% cell viability at the highest treatment concentration (70 μg/ml). Flow cytometry was employed to determine cellular uptake, in Caco-2 cells treated with ITC SiNPs and it was observed that at lower SiNP concentration, uptake efficiency was significantly improved at a time period under 12 hours; overall it was noted that cellular uptake was positively dependent on the period of incubation and the temperature of incubation. As such, it was concluded that the mechanism of uptake of ITC SiNP was through endocytosis. Synchrotron FTIR spectroscopy, by means of line spectral analysis and IR imaging, provided further evidence to suggest the internalisation of ITC SiNPs displays a strong localisation, with an affinity for the nucleus of treated Caco-2 cells.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Luminescent silicon nanostructures