Cellular uptake and cytotoxicity of positively charged chitosan gold nanoparticles in human lung adenocarcinoma cells

Seon Young Choi, Soo Hwa Jang, Jin Park, Saeromi Jeong, Jin Ho Park, Kwang Su Ock, Kangtaek Lee, Sung Ik Yang, Sang Woo Joo, Pan Dong Ryu, So Yeong Lee

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Cellular uptake, cytotoxicity, and mechanisms of cytotoxicity of the positively charged Au nanoparticles (NPs) were examined in A549 cells, which are one of the most characterized pulmonary cellular systems. Positively charged Au NPs were prepared by chemical reduction using chitosan. The dimension and surface charge of Au NPs were examined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering, and zeta potential measurements. The uptake of Au NPs into A549 cells was also monitored using TEM and dark-field microscopy (DFM) and z-stack confocal microRaman spectroscopy. DFM live cell imaging was also performed to monitor the entry of chitosan Au NPs in real time. The cytotoxic assay, using both methylthiazol tetrazolium and lactate dehydrogenase assays revealed that positively charged Au NPs decreased cell viability. Flow cytometry, DNA fragmentation, real-time PCR, and western blot analysis suggest that positively charged chitosan Au NPs provoke cell damage through both apoptotic and necrotic pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1234
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments We acknowledge the financial support from the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (2012-0000906, 2011-0027696, 2011-0014514) and the Development of Characterization Techniques for Nano-materials Safety Project of KRCF. This subject is supported by Korea Ministry of Environment as ‘‘Environmental Health R&D Program’’.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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