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Labeling of Cells with Silver and Gold Host-Guest Nanocomposites

L.P. Balogh, W. Lesniak, V.A. Sinani, A.U. Bielinska, K. Sun, B.M. Nair, E. Waite, M.S.T. Kariapper and M.K. Khan
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, US

Keywords:
cells, labeling, nanocomposites, silver, gold, fluorescent, dendrimer, guest-host

Abstract:
Nanocomposites combine the properties of nano-sized inorganic guest atoms/molecules with their nanoscopic size polymer host. We have synthesized water-soluble, biocompatible, fluorescent, and stable nanocomposites with regulated surface charge and controlled size for cell labeling studies. For in vitro cell labeling we used silver(0) nanocomposites, while for in vivo labeling we used gold(0) nanocomposites in mice. The results indicate that surface charge plays a significant role in cellular internalization. Cytotoxicity (or lack thereof) of the host dendrimers and related nanocomposites (host/guest) was evaluated both in normal and cancer cells using the XTT assay. Cytotoxicity of nanocomposites was found to be similar to the host (dendrimer). In vivo toxicity was also tested by injecting healthy mice via tail vein with gold nanocomposites followed by several weeks of observation. Cellular uptake of nanoparticles was examined by TEM and confocal microscopy. In vitro uptake by cells was quantified using internal standards. We demonstrate that nanocomposites exhibit potential to be used as quantifiable cell biomarkers.

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