Live cell imaging by confocal laser scanning microscopy for analyzing nanoparticle uptake and their fate inside cells

By using state-of-the-art live cell microscopy techniques it is possible to spatially visualize in real-time the importance of the nanoparticle-cell interaction.

For an understanding of fundamental biological questions, the visualization of dynamic cellular processes is of great importance. We are using a highly sophisticated methodological setup for high spatiotemporal in situ 3D (4D) analyses of fluorescence inside living cells and tissues. This approach enables to acquire a precise knowledge about the endocytotic uptake pathways (i.e. pinocytosis, phagocytosis, or by passive means) of various nanomaterials into cells and the subsequent intracellular particle distribution. By understanding the underlying mechanism of the nanomaterials cell interface we will have the possibility to design and optimize new nanotechnology approaches from basic research concepts to medical applications.

In the present study, our research focusses upon fluorescently labeled micron-sized and nano-sized particles of differing materials in a series of important immune and barrier cell systems (i.e. macrophage and epithelial cells). By applying both sensitive 3D and time-lapse microscopy techniques it is possible to gain a real-time understanding of how nanoparticles interact with these cell types, and further determine which uptake mechanism is being employed and how this correlates to the eventual intracellular localization of the different nanoparticle types studied.


Principal investigator

Involved people

External partners

Prof. Wolfgang Parak

AG Biophotonik, Philipps Universit├Ąt Marburg, Deutschland

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