One of the main goals of nanomedicine in cancer is the development of effective drug delivery systems, primarily nanoparticles. Survivin, an overexpressed anti-apoptotic protein in cancer, represents a pharmacological target for therapy and a Molecular Beacon (MB) specific for survivin mRNA is available. In this study, the ability of polymethylmethacrylate nanoparticles (PMMA-NPs) to promote survivin MB uptake in human A549 cells was investigated. Fluorescent and positively charged core PMMA-NPs of nearly 60 nm, obtained through an emulsion co-polymerization reaction, and the MB alone were evaluated in solution, for their analytical characterization; then, the MB specificity and functionality were verified after adsorption onto the PMMA-NPs. The carrier ability of PMMA-NPs in A549 was examined by confocal microscopy. With the optimized protocol, a hardly detectable fluorescent signal was obtained after incubation of the cells with the MB alone (fluorescent spots per cell of 1.90±0.40 with a mean area of 1.04±0.20 µm2), while bright fluorescent spots inside the cells were evident by using the MB loaded onto the PMMA-NPs. (27.50±2.30 fluorescent spots per cell with a mean area of 2.35±0.16 µm2). These results demonstrate the ability of the PMMA-NPs to promote the survivin-MB internalization, suggesting that this complex might represent a promising strategy for intracellular sensing and for the reduction of cancer cell proliferation.
- A549 human lung adenocarcinoma epithelial cells
- Cellular up-take
- Core-shell polymethylmethacrylate nanoparticles
- Molecular beacon
- Sensing in cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering