Production of Lipid-Based Nanoparticles Labeled with Quantum Dots
Nanotechnology is the manipulation and engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale, with dimensions ranging from 10 to ~200 nanometers in size. Technology at this scale has only recently been used across a wide spectrum of biomedical fields, generating new ways to treat or prevent disease safely and efficiently. Lipid-based nanoparticles have been used as a tool to deliver drugs and proteins to cells in living organisms. Because our research group is interested in both the induction and prevention of inflammation at the cellular level, we set to the task of producing a vehicle that could deliver biomolecules to cells of the immune system. Using manual extrusion techniques, we have successfully produced particles of a size between 100-200 nanometers. The liposomes are composed of 3 lipids: cholesterol, phosphatidylcholine, and dipalmitoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine. In addition to achieving the desired particle size, quantum dots (Qdots) were successfully incorporated into the liposomes in order to aid in their visualization both in vitro and in vivo. Qdots are semi-conducting crystals which fluoresce and are visible to the human eye when exposed to UV light. Nanoparticles containing Qdots are delivered to monocytes and macrophages in vitro and then imaged with a fluorescence microscope to describe their numbers and location within the cell. Future experiments involve the use of siRNA-loaded nanoparticles to prevent the activation of macrophages in an inflammatory environment.
Argentieri, Alexandria and Ontiveros, Fernando, "Production of Lipid-Based Nanoparticles Labeled with Quantum Dots" (2013). Biology Faculty/Staff Publications. Paper 43.
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