Intracellular nanoparticle dynamics affected by cytoskeletal integrity

Martha E. Grady, Emmabeth Parrish, Matthew A. Caporizzo, Sarah C. Seeger, Russell J. Composto, David M. Eckmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The cell interior is a crowded chemical space, which limits the diffusion of molecules and organelles within the cytoplasm, affecting the rates of chemical reactions. We provide insight into the relationship between non-specific intracellular diffusion and cytoskeletal integrity. Quantum dots entered the cell through microinjection and their spatial coordinates were captured by tracking their fluorescence signature as they diffused within the cell cytoplasm. Particle tracking revealed significant enhancement in the mobility of biocompatible quantum dots within fibrosarcoma cells versus their healthy counterparts, fibroblasts, as well as in actin destabilized fibroblasts versus untreated fibroblasts. Analyzing the displacement distributions provided insight into how the heterogeneity of the cell cytoskeleton influences intracellular particle diffusion. We demonstrate that intracellular diffusion of non-specific nanoparticles is enhanced by disrupting the actin network, which has implications for drug delivery efficacy and trafficking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1873-1880
Number of pages8
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge our funding sources: ONR Grant No. 000141410538 (DME), NIH U01 EB016027 (DME), the Provost's Postdoctoral Fellowship for Academic Diversity (MEG), and URF 4-000002-4820 (DME), which made this work possible. Support was also provided by the NSF PIRE OISE-1545884 (RJC, DME), ACS/PRF 54028-ND7 (RJC, EP), NSF/MWN DMR-1210379 (RJC, EP), NIH T32HL007954 and NSF/DMR 1507713 (RJC). The work was performed at and supported by the Nano Bio Interface Center (NBIC) at the University of Pennsylvania through NSF NSEC DMR08-32802, NSF MRI DBI-0721913, and NSF NSEC DMR-0425780. The authors thank Nadia Krook for TEM and FTIR assistance and Ben Lindsay for MATLAB coding assistance. We also thank Dr Matt Brukman for NBIC instrument support. We thank Dr Bruce Malkowicz for the generous donation of HT-1080 cells.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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