Precision Localization of Lipid-Based Nanoparticles by Dual-Fluorescent Labeling for Accurate and High-Resolution Imaging in Living Cells

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Abstract

In nanomedicine, lipid-based nanoparticles (NPs) such as liposomes (LPs) have established an important position. Precise delineation of NP interaction with cells and detailed characterization of activity are becoming essential, which mainly rely on labeling with lipophilic fluorescent molecules and assuming stable association with NPs. However, because of label separation from NPs in (biological) media, or when processed by cells, fluorescence-based detection of an NP incorporating a single label may not necessarily indicate the actual presence of an NP but may be from the dissociated label, rendering results unreliable. Herein, flow cytometry and confocal microscopy are employed to demonstrate that to verify the localization of LPs in a cell with perfect accuracy, dual-labeling, and contemporaneous detection of both fluorescent signals in one pixel are required. This is combined with size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and mass spectrometry measurements to indicate factors involved in label dissociation, which helps to understand the possible conditions of dissociated label and NP. It is shown that determining label colocalization with, and label dissociation from, dual-labeled NPs are needed to provide accurate spatiotemporal insight into targeting destination (colocalized signals) and disintegration (separated signals) of NPs during intracellular processing and in studying payload delivery with precision in nanomedicine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2300084
JournalSmall Science
Volume3
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
W.-Q.H. was financially supported by the China Scholarship Council doctorate program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Small Science published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.

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