Cell-specific transmembrane injection of molecular cargo with gold nanoparticle-generated transient plasmonic nanobubbles.

Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA.
Biomaterials (Impact Factor: 8.31). 04/2012; 33(21):5441-50. DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.03.077
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Optimal cell therapies require efficient, selective and rapid delivery of molecular cargo into target cells without compromising their viability. Achieving these goals ex vivo in bulk heterogeneous multi-cell systems such as human grafts is impeded by low selectivity and speed of cargo delivery and by significant damage to target and non-target cells. We have developed a cell level approach for selective and guided transmembrane injection of extracellular cargo into specific target cells using transient plasmonic nanobubbles (PNB) as cell-specific nano-injectors. As a technical platform for this method we developed a laser flow cell processing system. The PNB injection method and flow system were tested in heterogeneous cell suspensions of target and non-target cells for delivery of Dextran-FITC dye into squamous cell carcinoma HN31 cells and transfection of human T-cells with a green fluorescent protein-encoding plasmid. In both models the method demonstrated single cell type selectivity, high efficacy of delivery (96% both for HN31 cells T-cells), speed of delivery (nanoseconds) and viability of treated target cells (96% for HN31 cells and 75% for T-cells). The PNB injection method may therefore be beneficial for real time processing of human grafts without removal of physiologically important cells.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is a great interest in delivering macromolecular agents into living cells for therapeutic purposes, such as siRNA for gene silencing. Although substantial effort has gone into designing non-viral nanocarriers for delivering macromolecules into cells, translocation of the therapeutic molecules from the endosomes after endocytosis into the cytoplasm remains a major bottleneck. Laser-induced photoporation, especially in combination with gold nanoparticles, is an alternative physical method that is receiving increasing attention for delivering macromolecules in cells. By allowing gold nanoparticles to bind to the cell membrane, nanosized membrane pores can be created upon pulsed laser illumination. Depending on the laser energy, pores are created through either direct heating of the AuNPs or by vapour nanobubbles (VNBs) that can emerge around the AuNPs. Macromolecules in the surrounding cell medium can then diffuse through the pores directly into the cytoplasm. Here we present a systematic evaluation of both photoporation mechanisms in terms of cytotoxicity, cell loading, and siRNA transfection efficiency. We find that the delivery of macromolecules under conditions of VNBs is much more efficient than direct photothermal disturbance of the plasma membrane without any noticeable cytotoxic effect. Interestingly, by tuning the laser energy the pore size could be changed, allowing control of the amount and size of molecules that are delivered in the cytoplasm. As only a single nanosecond laser pulse is required, we conclude that VNBs are an interesting photoporation mechanism that may prove very useful for efficient high-throughput macromolecular delivery in live cells.
    ACS Nano 05/2014; · 12.03 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Nanomaterials with superior physiochemical properties have been rapidly developed and integrated in every aspect of cell engineering and therapy for translating their great promise to clinical success. Here we demonstrate the multifaceted roles played by innovatively-designed nanomaterials in addressing key challenges in cell engineering and therapy such as cell isolation from heterogeneous cell population, cell instruction in vitro to enable desired functionalities, and targeted cell delivery to therapeutic sites for prompting tissue repair. The emerging trends in this interdisciplinary and dynamic field are also highlighted, where the nanomaterial-engineered cells constitute the basis for establishing in vitro disease model; and nanomaterial-based in situ cell engineering are accomplished directly within the native tissue in vivo. We will witness the increasing importance of nanomaterials in revolutionizing the concept and toolset of cell engineering and therapy which will enrich our scientific understanding of diseases and ultimately fulfill the therapeutic demand in clinical medicine.
    Biotechnology advances 08/2012; · 8.25 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Current methods of cell processing for gene and cell therapies use several separate procedures for gene transfer and cell separation or elimination, because no current technology can offer simultaneous multi-functional processing of specific cell sub-sets in highly heterogeneous cell systems. Using the cell-specific generation of plasmonic nanobubbles of different sizes around cell-targeted gold nanoshells and nanospheres, we achieved simultaneous multifunctional cell-specific processing in a rapid single 70 ps laser pulse bulk treatment of heterogeneous cell suspension. This method supported the detection of cells, delivery of external molecular cargo to one type of cells and the concomitant destruction of another type of cells without damaging other cells in suspension, and real-time guidance of the two above cellular effects.
    ACS Nano 11/2012; · 12.03 Impact Factor