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Torrano, Adriano A.; Bräuchle, Christoph (2014): Precise quantification of silica and ceria nanoparticle uptake revealed by 3D fluorescence microscopy. In: Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology, Vol. 5: pp. 1616-1624


Particle_in_Cell-3D is a powerful method to quantify the cellular uptake of nanoparticles. It combines the advantages of confocal fluorescence microscopy with fast and precise semi-automatic image analysis. In this work we present how this method was applied to investigate the impact of 310 nm silica nanoparticles on human vascular endothelial cells (HUVEC) in comparison to a cancer cell line derived from the cervix carcinoma (HeLa). The absolute number of intracellular silica nanoparticles within the first 24 h was determined and shown to be cell type-dependent. As a second case study, Particle_in_Cell-3D was used to assess the uptake kinetics of 8 nm and 30 nm ceria nanoparticles interacting with human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1). These small nanoparticles formed agglomerates in biological medium, and the particles that were in effective contact with cells had a mean diameter of 417 nm and 316 nm, respectively. A significant particle size-dependent effect was observed after 48 h of interaction, and the number of intracellular particles was more than four times larger for the 316 nm agglomerates. Interestingly, our results show that for both particle sizes there is a maximum dose of intracellular nanoparticles at about 24 h. One of the causes for such an interesting and unusual uptake behavior could be cell division.