Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Science and Engineering
PI: Theresa M. Reineke
Three-Dimensional Image Analysis to Investigate Intracellular Trafficking of Nanoparticles
Methods to investigate the intracellular dynamics of nanoparticles are lacking yet becoming increasingly important to understand their complex biological behavior and impact on the environment. In particular, the promise of nanotechnology to enable drug delivery, diagnostic imaging, and nucleic acid therapeutic strategies has been hampered by a lack of detailed understanding of the intracellular trafficking behavior of nanoparticles in a spatial and temporal manner. These researchers employ sophisticated, high-resolution three-dimensional analysis of z-stacked images obtained via confocal microscopy to visualize and measure kinetics of nanoparticle trafficking in HeLa (human cervical cancer) cells. The spatiotemporal behavior of four polyplex types (complexes consisting of pDNA and one of four different polymer structures: Tr455, Tr477, jetPEITM, and GlycofectTM) has been measured and compared in a quantitative manner. This new method of intracellular nanoparticle analysis allows for the measurement of several nanoparticle parameters (such as volume, interpolyplex separation distance, and distance from nucleus) as well as their colocalization with organelles such as the nucleus and reveals heretofore unobserved similarities and differences among the nanoparticles within cells. Indeed, this new intracellular 3D analysis method has broad implications for the general field of nanomedicine and nanotoxicology.
Nilesh P. Ingle, Research Associate