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Nano Lett. 2007 Jun;7(6):1542-50. Epub 2007 Apr 28.

Elucidating the mechanism of cellular uptake and removal of protein-coated gold nanoparticles of different sizes and shapes.

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Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, Terrence Donnelly Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, University of Toronto, 160 College Street, 4th Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G9, Canada.


We investigated the mechanism by which transferrin-coated gold nanoparticles (Au NP) of different sizes and shapes entered mammalian cells. We determined that transferrin-coated Au NP entered the cells via clathrin-mediated endocytosis pathway. The NPs exocytosed out of the cells in a linear relationship to size. This was different than the relationship between uptake and size. Furthermore, we developed a mathematical equation to predict the relationship of size versus exocytosis for different cell lines. These studies will provide guidelines for developing NPs for imaging and drug delivery applications, which will require "controlling" NP accumulation rate. These studies will also have implications in determining nanotoxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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