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Poly-pathway effects of dopamine covered iron oxide core - titanium dioxide shell nanoparticles

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This thesis proposes a robust multi-pronged approach to study the effect of nanoparticles on cells. In the first place, this work is focused on investigation of the protein corona that accumulates on the surface of nanoparticles internalized by the cells and their poly-pathway effects on protein availability and messenger RNA modulation. Secondly, a new way to evaluate heterogeneity of the nanoparticle uptake by cells is developed through a two-stage, “zooming in” X-ray fluorescence microscopy and tomography and the nanoparticle effects on changes in cell cycle are shown. Lastly, metabolic changes in cells treated by nanoparticles are evaluated by Synchrotron Radiation Fourier Transform Infrared micro-Spectroscopy (SR-FTIR). Nanoparticle formulations used in this work are all based on iron-oxide – titanium-dioxide (Fe3O4@TiO2) core-shell nanoparticles with different surface covering. Work was done in vitro with cancer (HeLa) and immortalized normal mouse neuronal cell lines. In all cases the presence of nanoparticles at sub- toxic concentrations exerted subtle yet numerous effects on cells. Therefore, important next step in nanoparticle research will be to explore ways to increase efficiency of nanoparticle exocytosis in order to develop “nanoparticle removal treatments” that would aid in minimizing undesirable effects of nanomaterials on cells.

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