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.

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