Gold Nanoparticle Size and Shape Effects on Cellular Uptake and Intracellular Distribution of siRNA Nanoconstructs

Jun Yue, Timothy Joel Feliciano, Wenlong Li, Andrew Lee, Teri W Odom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) show potential for transfecting target cells with small interfering RNA (siRNA), but the influence of key design parameters such as the size and shape of the particle core is incomplete. This paper describes a side-by-side comparison of the in vitro response of U87 glioblastoma cells to different formulations of siRNA-conjugated gold nanoconstructs targeting the expression of isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) based on 13 nm spheres, 50 nm spheres, and 40 nm stars. 50 nm spheres and 40 nm stars showed much higher uptake efficiency compared to 13 nm spheres. Confocal fluorescence microscopy showed that all three formulations were localized in the endosomes at early incubation times (2 h), but after 24 h, 50 nm spheres and 40 nm stars were neither in endosomes nor in lysosomes while 13 nm spheres remained in endosomes. Transmission electron microscopy images revealed that the 13 nm spheres were enclosed and dispersed within endocytic vesicles while 50 nm spheres and 40 nm stars were aggregated, and some of these NPs were outside of endocytic vesicles. In our comparison of nanoconstructs with different sizes and shapes, while holding siRNA surface density and nanoparticle concentration constant, we found that larger particles (50 nm spheres and 40 nm stars) showed higher potential as carriers for the delivery of siRNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1791-1800
Number of pages10
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 21 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry

Cite this