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  • Improved cellular uptake of functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes.

Improved cellular uptake of functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes.

Nanotechnology (2010-09-23)
A Antonelli, S Serafini, M Menotta, C Sfara, F Pierigé, L Giorgi, G Ambrosi, L Rossi, M Magnani
ABSTRACT

Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) due to their unique structural and physicochemical properties, have been proposed as delivery systems for a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic agents. However, SWNTs have proven difficult to solubilize in aqueous solution, limiting their use in biological applications. In an attempt to improve SWNTs' solubility, biocompatibility, and to increase cell penetration we have thoroughly investigated the construction of carbon scaffolds coated with aliphatic carbon chains and phospholipids to obtain micelle-like structures. At first, oxidized SWNTs (2370 ± 30 nmol mg(-1) of SWNTs) were covalently coupled with an alcoholic chain (stearyl alcohol, C(18)H(37)OH; 816 nmol mg(-1) of SWNTs). Subsequently, SWNTs-COOC(18)H(37) derivatives were coated with phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) or -serine (PS) phospholipids obtaining micelle-like structures. We found that cellular uptake of these constructs by phagocytic cells occurs via an endocytotic mechanism for constructs larger than 400 nm while occurs via diffusion through the cell membrane for constructs up to 400 nm. The material that enters the cell by phagocytosis is actively internalized by macrophages and localizes inside endocytotic vesicles. In contrast the material that enters the cells by diffusion is found in the cell cytosol. In conclusion, we have realized new biomimetic constructs based on alkylated SWNTs coated with phospholipids that are efficiently internalized by different cell types only if their size is lower than 400 nm. These constructs are not toxic to the cells and could now be explored as delivery systems for non-permeant cargoes.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Supelco
Stearyl Alcohol, Pharmaceutical Secondary Standard; Certified Reference Material
Stearyl alcohol, European Pharmacopoeia (EP) Reference Standard
Supelco
1-Octadecanol, Selectophore, ≥99.0%
Sigma-Aldrich
1-Octadecanol, 95%
Sigma-Aldrich
1-Octadecanol, ReagentPlus®, 99%