Despite the rapid pace of development in this area, the uptake kinetics of pegylated GOs, their influence in different types of cells and the possibility of controlling cellular internalization are still fields that remain underexplored. There is an urgent need to define the potential of GOs to be internalized and to interact with representative cells in order to assess the potential risk/gain associated with this nanotechnology.

Interdisciplinary approach

To shed light on these complicated processes, researchers from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) in Spain, together with scientists based at the Universidade de Aveiro (UA) in Portugal, have combined their interdisciplinary knowledge in physics, chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology.

The team has presented a kinetic study of GOs cell internalization performed for the first time in osteoblasts, preosteoblasts, fibroblasts and macrophages as experimental cell models of bone cancer disease. The influence that the different timing or culture cell nature has on the internalized amount of GOs has shown that osteoblast cell uptake is higher and slightly faster when compared with the other cell types.

PEG effects

PEG branching effects on cell uptake were also assessed by the group. In the study, internalization of a GO decorated with the commonly used high-branched PEG was revealed to be less efficient when compared with the PEG linear version.

The obtained results must be taken into account to know how the therapeutic process will proceed and how cells surrounding the tumour could be affected in a photothermal therapy treatment.

Additional information can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.