Recently, studies on the development and investigation of carbohydrate-functionalized silica nanoparticles (NPs) and their biomedicine applications such as cell-specific targeting and bioimaging has been carried out extensively. Since the number of breast cancer patients has been growing in recent years, potential NPs were being studied in this project for targeting breast cancer cells. Mannose receptors can be found on the surface of MDA-MB-231, which is a kind of human breast cancer cell line. Therefore, we decorated a cyanine 3 fluorescent dye (Cy3) and mannosides on the surface of silica NPs for the purpose of imaging and targeting. Galactoside was also introduced onto the surface of silica NPs acting as a control sample. Various sizes of silica NPs were synthesized by using different amounts of ammonium to investigate the effect of the size of NPs on the cellular uptake rate. The physical properties of these NPs were characterized by scanning electron microscope, dynamic light scattering, and their zeta potential. Cellular experiments demonstrated that mannoside-modified NPs can be uptaken by MDA-MB-231. From the experiment, we found out that the best cellular uptake rate of nanoparticle size is about 250 nm. The MTT assay showed that Man@Cy3SiO2NPs are not cytotoxic, indicating they may have the potential for biomedical applications.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.