Live cell imaging of the endocytosis and the intracellular trafficking of multifunctional lipid nanoparticles

Tieqiao Zhang, S. Narasimhan Danthi, Jianwu Xie, Dehong Hu, Peter Lu, King Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Artificial lipid nanoparticles have drawn great attention due to their potential in medicine. Linked with targeting ligands, they can be used as probes and/or gene delivery vectors for specific types of target cells. Therefore, they are very promising agents in early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancers and other genetic diseases. However, there are several barriers blocking the applications. Controlling the cellular uptake of the lipid nanoparticles is an important technical challenge to overcome. Understanding the mechanism of the endocytosis and the following intracellular trafficking is very important for improving the design and therefore the efficiency as a drug delivery system. By using fluorescence microscopy methods, we studied the endocytosis of lipid nanoparticles by live M21 cells. The movements of the nanoparticles inside the cell were quantitatively characterized and classified based on the diffusion behavior. The trajectories of nanoparticles movement over the cell membrane revealed hop-diffusion behavior prior to the endocytosis. Fast movement in large steps is observed in intracellular trafficking and is attributed to active movement along microtubule. These observations help to understand the mechanism of the endocytosis and the pathway of the particles in cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNanobiophotonics and Biomedical Applications III
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventNanobiophotonics and Biomedical Applications III - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 23 2006Jan 24 2006

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherNanobiophotonics and Biomedical Applications III
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Cell imaging
  • Endocytosis
  • Lipid nanoparticle
  • M21
  • Microscopy
  • Particle tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biomaterials


Dive into the research topics of 'Live cell imaging of the endocytosis and the intracellular trafficking of multifunctional lipid nanoparticles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this