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ACS Nano. 2012 Feb 28;6(2):1370-9. doi: 10.1021/nn204187c. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

Surface chemistry of quantum dots determines their behavior in postischemic tissue.

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Walter Brendel Centre of Experimental Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit√§t M√ľnchen, Munich, Germany.


The behavior of quantum dots (QDs) in the microvasculature and their impact on inflammatory reactions under pathophysiological conditions are still largely unknown. Therefore, we designed this study to investigate the fate and effects of surface-modified QDs in postischemic skeletal and heart muscle. Under these pathophysiological conditions, amine-modified QDs, but not carboxyl-QDs, were strongly associated with the vessel wall of postcapillary venules and amplified ischemia-reperfusion-elicited leukocyte transmigration. Importantly, strong association of amine-QDs with microvessel walls was also present in the postischemic myocardium. As shown by electron microscopy and verified by FACS analyses, amine-modified QDs, but not carboxyl-QDs, were associated with endogenous microparticles. At microvessel walls, these aggregates were attached to endothelial cells. Taken together, we found that both the surface chemistry of QDs and the underlying tissue conditions (i.e., ischemia-reperfusion) strongly determine their uptake by endothelial cells in microvessels, their association to endogenous microparticles, as well as their potential to modify inflammatory processes. Thus, this study strongly corroborates the view that the surface chemistry of nanomaterials and the physiological state of the tissue are crucial for the behavior of nanomaterials in vivo.

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