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Nanoparticle transport in epithelial cells: pathway switching through bioconjugation

Fowler, Robyn; Vllasaliu, Driton; Trillo, Francisco Fern�ndez; Garnett, Martin; Alexander, Cameron; Horsley, Helen; Smith, Bryan; Whitcombe, Ian; Eaton, Mike; Stolnik, Snow

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Robyn Fowler

Driton Vllasaliu

Francisco Fern�ndez Trillo

Martin Garnett

Helen Horsley

Bryan Smith

Ian Whitcombe

Mike Eaton

Snow Stolnik


The understanding and control of nanoparticle transport into and through cellular compartments is central to biomedical applications of nanotechnology. Here, it is shown that the transport pathway of 50 nm polystyrene nanoparticles decorated with vitamin B12 in epithelial cells is different compared to both soluble B12 ligand and unmodified nanoparticles, and this is not attributable to B12 recognition alone. Importantly, the study indicates that vitamin B12-conjugated nanoparticles circumnavigate the lysosomal compartment, the destination of soluble vitamin B12 ligand. Whereas cellular trafficking of soluble B12 is confirmed to occur via the clathrin-mediated pathway, transport of B12-conjugated nanoparticles appears to predominantly take place by a route that is perturbed by caveolae-specific inhibitors. This data suggests that, following its conjugation to nanoparticles, in addition to dramatically increasing the cellular uptake of nanoparticles, the normal cell trafficking of B12 is switched to an alternative pathway, omitting the lysosomal stage: a result with important implications for oral delivery of nanoparticulate diagnostics and therapeutics.


Fowler, R., Vllasaliu, D., Trillo, F. F., Garnett, M., Alexander, C., Horsley, H., …Stolnik, S. (in press). Nanoparticle transport in epithelial cells: pathway switching through bioconjugation. Small, 9(19),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 2, 2013
Online Publication Date Oct 4, 2013
Deposit Date Apr 9, 2014
Publicly Available Date Apr 9, 2014
Journal Small
Print ISSN 1613-6810
Electronic ISSN 1613-6829
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 19
Keywords Caco-2 cells; drug delivery; endocytosis pathways; nanoparticles; vitamin B12
Public URL
Publisher URL;jsessionid=CABFF56A9C453DA133CAD70168F16CD5.f01t04


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