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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e50713. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050713. Epub 2013 Mar 19.

Synthesis and characterization of dual-functionalized core-shell fluorescent microspheres for bioconjugation and cellular delivery.

Author information

1
Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, School of Engineering & Applied Science, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Abstract

The efficient transport of micron-sized beads into cells, via a non-endocytosis mediated mechanism, has only recently been described. As such there is considerable scope for optimization and exploitation of this procedure to enable imaging and sensing applications to be realized. Herein, we report the design, synthesis and characterization of fluorescent microsphere-based cellular delivery agents that can also carry biological cargoes. These core-shell polymer microspheres possess two distinct chemical environments; the core is hydrophobic and can be labeled with fluorescent dye, to permit visual tracking of the microsphere during and after cellular delivery, whilst the outer shell renders the external surfaces of the microspheres hydrophilic, thus facilitating both bioconjugation and cellular compatibility. Cross-linked core particles were prepared in a dispersion polymerization reaction employing styrene, divinylbenzene and a thiol-functionalized co-monomer. These core particles were then shelled in a seeded emulsion polymerization reaction, employing styrene, divinylbenzene and methacrylic acid, to generate orthogonally functionalized core-shell microspheres which were internally labeled via the core thiol moieties through reaction with a thiol reactive dye (DY630-maleimide). Following internal labeling, bioconjugation of green fluorescent protein (GFP) to their carboxyl-functionalized surfaces was successfully accomplished using standard coupling protocols. The resultant dual-labeled microspheres were visualized by both of the fully resolvable fluorescence emissions of their cores (DY630) and shells (GFP). In vitro cellular uptake of these microspheres by HeLa cells was demonstrated conventionally by fluorescence-based flow cytometry, whilst MTT assays demonstrated that 92% of HeLa cells remained viable after uptake. Due to their size and surface functionalities, these far-red-labeled microspheres are ideal candidates for in vitro, cellular delivery of proteins.

PMID:
23526923
PMCID:
PMC3602537
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0050713
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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