Mitotic trafficking of silicon microparticles

Rita E. Serda, Silvia Ferrati, Biana Godin, Ennio Tasciotti, Xuewu Liu, Mauro Ferrari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Multistage carriers were recently introduced by our laboratory, with the concurrent objectives of co-localized delivery of multiple therapeutic agents, the "theranostic" integration of bioactive moieties with imaging contrast, and the selective, potentially personalized bypassing of the multiplicity of biological barriers that adversely impact biodistribution of vascularly injected particulates. Mesoporous ("nanoporous") silicon microparticles were selected as primary carriers in multi-stage devices, with targets including vascular endothelia at pathological lesions. The objective of this study was to evaluate biocompatibility of mesoporous silicon microparticles with endothelial cells using in vitro assays with an emphasis on microparticle compatibility with mitotic events. We observed that vascular endothelial cells, following internalization of silicon microparticles, maintain cellular integrity, as demonstrated by cellular morphology, viability and intact mitotic trafficking of vesicles bearing silicon microparticles. The presence of gold or iron oxide nanoparticles within the porous matrix did not alter the cellular uptake of particles or the viability of endothelial cells subsequent to engulfment of microparticles. Endothelial cells maintained basal levels of IL-6 and IL-8 release in the presence of silicon microparticles. This is the first study that demonstrates polarized, ordered partitioning of endosomes based on tracking microparticles. The finding that mitotic sorting of endosomes is unencumbered by the presence of nanoporous silicon microparticles advocates the use of silicon microparticles for biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-259
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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