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A Multiparametric Evaluation of Quantum Dot Size and Surface-Grafted Peptide Density on Cellular Uptake and Cytotoxicity

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Despite the progress in nanotechnology for biomedical applications, great efforts are still being employed in optimizing nanoparticle (NP) design parameters to improve functionality and minimize bionanotoxicity. In this study, we developed CdSe/CdS/ZnS core/shell/shell quantum dots (QDs) that are compact ligand-coated and surface-functionalized with an HIV-1-derived TAT cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) analog to improve both biocompatibility and cellular uptake. Multiparametric studies were performed in different mammalian and murine cell lines to compare the effects of varying QD size and number of surface CPPs on cellular uptake, viability, generation of reactive oxygen species, mitochondrial health, cell area, and autophagy. Our results showed that the number of cell-associated NPs and their respective toxicity are higher for the larger QDs. Meanwhile, increasing the number of surface CPPs also enhanced cellular uptake and induced cytotoxicity through the generation of mitoROS and autophagy. Thus, here we report the optimal size and surface CPP combinations for improved QD cellular uptake.
Journal: Bioconjugate Chemistry
ISSN: 1043-1802
Issue: 4
Volume: 31
Pages: 1077 - 1087
Number of pages: 11
Publication year:2020
Keywords:Biochemistry/biophysics/molecular biology, Multidisciplinary chemistry, Organic & medicinal chemistry