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Interactions between Magnetic Nanowires and Living Cells: Uptake, Toxicity, and Degradation

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Matière et Systèmes Complexes, UMR 7057 CNRS Université Denis Diderot Paris-VII, Bâtiment Condorcet 10 rue Alice Domon et Léonie Duquet, 75205 Paris, France
Service de Microscopie Electronique, Institut de Biologie Intégrative, IFR 83 Université P. et M. Curie 9 quai St Bernard 75252 Paris cedex
§ Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7, ImagoSeine Bioimaging Core Facility, Jacques Monod Institute, 75013 Paris, France
Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7, Unit of Functional and Adaptive Biology (BFA) CNRS EAC 4413, Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Responses to Xenobiotics, Bâtiment Buffon, 5 rue Thomas Mann, 75013 Paris, France
Inserm, U1016, Institut Cochin, Paris, France
# CNRS, UMR 8104, Paris, France
Univ Paris Descartes, Paris, France
Institut Curie-Section de Recherche, Centre Universitaire Paris-Sud, Bâtiment 110 91405 Orsay, France
Address correspondence to [email protected]
Cite this: ACS Nano 2011, 5, 7, 5354–5364
Publication Date (Web):June 23, 2011
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract Image

    We report on the uptake, toxicity, and degradation of magnetic nanowires by NIH/3T3 mouse fibroblasts. Magnetic nanowires of diameters 200 nm and lengths between 1 and 40 μm are fabricated by controlled assembly of iron oxide (γ-Fe2O3) nanoparticles. Using optical and electron microscopy, we show that after 24 h incubation the wires are internalized by the cells and located either in membrane-bound compartments or dispersed in the cytosol. Using fluorescence microscopy, the membrane-bound compartments were identified as late endosomal/lysosomal endosomes labeled with lysosomal associated membrane protein (Lamp1). Toxicity assays evaluating the mitochondrial activity, cell proliferation, and production of reactive oxygen species show that the wires do not display acute short-term (<100 h) toxicity toward the cells. Interestingly, the cells are able to degrade the wires and to transform them into smaller aggregates, even in short time periods (days). This degradation is likely to occur as a consequence of the internal structure of the wires, which is that of a noncovalently bound aggregate. We anticipate that this degradation should prevent long-term asbestos-like toxicity effects related to high aspect ratio morphologies and that these wires represent a promising class of nanomaterials for cell manipulation and microrheology.

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    How to analyze the Brownian motions of internalized wires in terms of mean square angular displacement and rotational diffusion constant (SI-1). Details of the protocol for measuring the mass of metal internalized/adsorbed by living cells (MILC) (SI-2). Proliferation assays obtained for the fibroblasts incubated with PAA2K–γ-Fe2O3 particles (SI-3) are shown to allow the comparaison with the data of Figure 5. Controls of the oxidative properties of the particles/wires (SI-4) and on the effect of the pH on the nanowire stability (SI-5). Additional TEM materials (SI-6) to prove that isolated nanoparticles or small clusters of particles can be found in the cytosol. 3D reconstruction of the of the immunofluorescence images (SI-7). The release amounts and release rates of ferric ion Fe3+ at neutral and acidic pH for the Massart dispersions used in this work (SI-8). Additional control experiments showing the absence of interaction between the MTT/formazan crystals with the nanomaterials (SI-9) and finally a statistical study of the iron oxide loaded compartments for cells incubated with PAA2K–γ-Fe2O3 particles (SI-10). Four movies: (Movie 1) a nanowire is subjected to a rotating magnetic field (B = 0.01 T) at the frequency of 0.2 Hz; (Movie 2) the Brownian motions of magnetic nanowires inside NIH/3T3 cells; (Movies 3 and 4) Z-stacks of images taken every 0.2 μm for fixed NIH/3T3 cells, in phase contrast and fluorescence respectively. This material is available free of charge via the Internet at

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