alexa Impact of Gold Nanoparticle Concentration on their Cell
ISSN: 2157-7439

Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology
Open Access

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Research Article

Impact of Gold Nanoparticle Concentration on their Cellular Uptake by MC3T3-E1 Mouse Osteocytic Cells as Analyzed by Transmission Electron Microscopy

Thikra Mustafa1, Fumiya Watanabe1, William Monroe2, Meena Mahmood1, Yang Xu1, Lamya Mohammed Saeed1, Alokita Karmakar1, Dan Casciano1, Syed Ali3 and Alexandru S. Biris1*

1Nanotechnology Center, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 2801 S. University Ave, Little Rock, AR 72204, United States

2Electron Microscope Center, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA

3National Center for Toxicological Research, Food and Drug Administration, 3900 NCTR Road, Jefferson, AR 72079, United States

*Corresponding Author:
Alexandru S. Biris
Nanotechnology Center University of Arkansas at
Little Rock 2801 S, University Ave Little Rock
AR 72204, USA
Tel: (501) 683-7458
(501) 683-7601
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: September 03, 2011; Accepted November 04, 2011; Published Date: November 08, 2011

Citation: Mustafa T, Watanabe F, Monroe W, Mahmood M, Xu Y, et al. (2011) Impact of Gold Nanoparticle Concentration on their Cellular Uptake by MC3T3-E1 Mouse Osteoblastic Cells as Analyzed by Transmission Electron Microscopy. J Nanomedic Nanotechnol 2:118. doi:10.4172/2157-7439.1000118

Copyright: © 2011 Mustafa T, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



The uptake mechanisms and kinetics of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) by mouse calvaria osteoblastic cells have been studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The average size of the as-synthesized AuNPs used in this study was 12.2 (± 1.3) nm, and they were used to expose MC3T3-E1 osteoblastic cells at two concentrations (10 and 160 μg/ml) for 6, 24, and 96 hours before TEM imaging. Based on this analysis, we propose that the uptake mechanism of AuNPs is concentration-dependent. At the higher concentration (160 μg/ml), the particles seem to penetrate inside the cells primarily by endocytosis as the cells engulf AuNPs as agglomerates formed on the outer cellular membrane. At the lower concentrations of 10 μg/ml, AuNPs are more likely to cross the plasma membrane individually through diffusion. Therefore, the average diameters of the nanoparticles are expected to have a significant role only when exposed to cells in low concentrations. Moreover, cytotoxicity assays showed no toxic effects of the AuNPs when MC3T3-E1 cells were exposed to concentrations used in the experiments.


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