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Nano Lett. 2010 Jul 14;10(7):2543-8. doi: 10.1021/nl101140t.

Effect of nanoparticle surface charge at the plasma membrane and beyond.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


Herein, we demonstrate that the surface charge of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) plays a critical role in modulating membrane potential of different malignant and nonmalignant cell types and subsequent downstream intracellular events. The findings presented here describe a novel mechanism for cell-nanoparticle interactions and AuNP uptake: modulation of membrane potential and its effect on intracellular events. These studies will help understand the biology of cell-nanoparticle interactions and facilitate the engineering of nanoparticles for specific intracellular targets.

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