Localisation and mobility of glucose-coated gold nanoparticles within the brain

Gromnicova, Radka; Yilmaz, Canan Ugur; Orhan, Nurcan; Kaya, Mehmet; Davies, Heather; Williams, Phil; Romero, Ignacio A.; Sharrack, Basil and Male, David (2016). Localisation and mobility of glucose-coated gold nanoparticles within the brain. Nanomedicine, 11(6) pp. 617–625.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2217/nnm.15.215


Glucose-coated gold nanoparticles (<5 nm) were investigated for their ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and enter cells of the brain. Nanoparticles injected into the carotid artery of rats were allowed to circulate for 10 minutes and their tissue distribution was measured by ICP-mass spectrometry. Nanoparticles localised within the brain and were detected in the cytosol of brain endothelium. They were identified within neurons and glial cells at >10 µm from the nearest microvessel during the experimental time course. Their distribution indicated that after crossing the endothelium, they moved primarily through cells of the brain rather than extracellular spaces. This class of nanoparticle has potential as a carrier of therapeutic biomolecules into the cerebral cortex or as imaging reagents.

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