Endosomal Escape of Polymer-Coated Silica Nanoparticles in Endothelial Cells

Alessandro Parodi, Michael Evangelopoulos, Noemi Arrighetti, Armando Cevenini, Megan Livingston, Sm Z. Khaled, Brandon S. Brown, Iman K. Yazdi, Francesca Paradiso, Jocelyn N. Campa-Carranza, Alessandro De Vita, Francesca Taraballi, Ennio Tasciotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Current investigations into hazardous nanoparticles (i.e., nanotoxicology) aim to understand the working mechanisms that drive toxicity. This understanding has been used to predict the biological impact of the nanocarriers as a function of their synthesis, material composition, and physicochemical characteristics. It is particularly critical to characterize the events that immediately follow cell stress resulting from nanoparticle internalization. While reactive oxygen species and activation of autophagy are universally recognized as mechanisms of nanotoxicity, the progression of these phenomena during cell recovery has yet to be comprehensively evaluated. Herein, primary human endothelial cells are exposed to controlled concentrations of polymer-functionalized silica nanoparticles to induce lysosomal damage and achieve cytosolic delivery. In this model, the recovery of cell functions lost following endosomal escape is primarily represented by changes in cell distribution and the subsequent partitioning of particles into dividing cells. Furthermore, multilamellar bodies are found to accumulate around the particles, demonstrating progressive endosomal escape. This work provides a set of biological parameters that can be used to assess cell stress related to nanoparticle exposure and the subsequent recovery of cell processes as a function of endosomal escape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1907693
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • drug delivery
  • endosomal escape
  • endothelial cells, nanoparticles
  • nanosafety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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