The development of smart targeted nanoparticles (NPs) that can identify and deliver drugs at a sustained rate directly to cancer cells may provide better efficacy and lower toxicity for treating primary and advanced metastatic tumors. Obtaining knowledge of the diseases at the molecular level can facilitate the identification of biological targets. In particular, carbohydrate-mediated molecular recognitions using nano-vehicles are likely to increasingly affect cancer treatment methods, opening a new area in biomedical applications. Here, silicon NPs (SiNPs) capped with carbohydrates including galactose, glucose, mannose, and lactose are successfully synthesized from amine terminated SiNPs. The MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] analysis shows an extensive reduction in toxicity of SiNPs by functionalizing with carbohydrate moiety both in vitro and in vivo. Cellular uptake is investigated with flow cytometry and confocal fluorescence microscope. The results show the carbohydrate capped SiNPs can be internalized in the cells within 24 h of incubation, and can be taken up more readily by cancer cells than noncancerous cells. Moreover, these results reinforce the use of carbohydrates for the internalization of a variety of similar compounds into cancer cells.
- Cancer cells
- Silicon nanoparticles