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Biomaterials. 2003 Mar;24(6):1001-11.

Intracellular uptake of anionic superparamagnetic nanoparticles as a function of their surface coating.

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Laboratoire des Milieux Désordonnés et Hétérogènes UMR7603, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Tour 13, Case 86, 4 place Jussieu, 75005 Paris, France.


A new class of superparamagnetic nanoparticles bearing negative surface charges is presented. These anionic nanoparticles show a high affinity for the cell membrane and, as a consequence, are captured by cells with an efficiency three orders of magnitude higher than the widely used dextran-coated iron oxide nanoparticles. The surface coating of anionic particle with albumin strongly reduces the non specific interactions with the plasma membrane as well as the overall cell uptake and at the same time restores the ability to induce specific interactions with targeted cells by the coadsorption on the particle surface of a specific ligand. Kinetics of cellular particle uptake for different cell lines are quantitated using two new complementary assays (Magnetophoresis and Electron Spin Resonance).

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