Quantitative mechanics of endothelial phagocytosis of silicon microparticles

Rita E. Serda, Jianhua Gu, Jared K. Burks, Kim Ferrari, Chiara Ferrari, Mauro Ferrari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Endothelia, once thought of as a barrier to the delivery of therapeutics, is now a major target for tissue-specific drug delivery. Tissue- and disease-specific molecular presentations on endothelial cells provide targets for anchoring or internalizing delivery vectors. Porous silicon delivery vectors are phagocytosed by vascular endothelial cells. The rapidity and efficiency of silicon microparticle uptake lead us to delineate the kinetics of internalization. To discriminate between surface-attached and -internalized microparticles, we developed a double fluorescent/FRET flow cytometric approach. The approach relies on quenching of antibody-conjugated fluorescein isothiocyanate covalently attached to the microparticle surface by attachment of a secondary antibody labeled with an acceptor fluorophore, phycoerythrin. The resulting half-time for microparticle internalization was 15.7 min, with confirmation provided by live confocal imaging as well as transmission electron microscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)752-760
Number of pages9
JournalCytometry Part A
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Endothelia
  • Flow cytometry
  • Fluorescence quenching
  • Live cell confocal imaging
  • Phagocytosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Histology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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