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Langmuir. 2014 Oct 21;30(41):12362-7. doi: 10.1021/la502273f. Epub 2014 Oct 6.

Plasma membrane and actin cytoskeleton as synergistic barriers to nanowire cell penetration.

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University , 476 Lomita Mall, Stanford, California 94305, United States.


Nanowires are a rapidly emerging platform for manipulation of and material delivery directly into the cell cytosol. These high aspect ratio structures can breach the lipid membrane; however, the yield of penetrant structures is low, and the mechanism is largely unknown. In particular, some nanostructures appear to defeat the membrane transiently, while others can retain long-term access. Here, we examine if local dissolution of the lipid membrane, actin cytoskeleton, or both can enhance nanowire penetration. It is possible that, during cell contact, membrane rupture occurs; however, if the nanostructures do not penetrate the cytoskeleton, the membrane may reclose over a relatively short time frame. We show with quantitative analysis of the number of penetrating nanowires that the lipid bilayer and actin cytoskeleton are synergistic barriers to nanowire cell access, yet chemical poration through both is still insufficient to increase long-term access for adhered cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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