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Polyethyleneimine/polyethylene glycol–conjugated gold nanoparticles as nanoscale positive/negative controls in nanotoxicology: Testing in frog embryo teratogenesis assay–Xenopus and mammalian tissue culture system

Published

Author(s)

Vytas Reipa, Alessandro Tona, Feng Yi, Bryant C. Nelson, David A. LaVan, Vincent A. Hackley, Tae Joon Cho

Abstract

Despite the great potential of using positively charged gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) in nanomedicine, no systematic studies have been reported on their synthesis optimization or colloidal stability under physiological conditions until a group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology recently succeeded in producing remarkably stable polyethyleneimine (PEI)-coated AuNPs (Au-PEI). This improved version of Au-PEI (Au-PEI25kB) has increased the demand for toxicity and teratogenicity information for applications in nanomedicine and nanotoxicology. In vitro assays for Au-PEI25kB in various cell lines showed substantial active cytotoxicity. For advanced toxicity research, the frog embryo teratogenesis assay–Xenopus (FETAX) method was employed in this study. We observed that positively- charged Au-PEI25kB exhibited significant toxicity and teratogenicity, whereas polyethylene glycol conjugated AuNPs (Au-PEG) used as comparable negative controls did not. There is a characteristic avidity of Au-PEI25kB for the jelly coat, the chorionic envelope (also known as vitelline membrane) and the cytoplasmic membrane, as well as a barrier effect of the chorionic envelope observed with Au-PEG. To circumvent these characteristics, an injection-mediated FETAX approach was utilized. Like treatment with the FETAX method, the injection of Au-PEI25kB severely impaired embryo development. Notably, the survival/concentration curve that was steep when the standard FETAX approach was employed became gradual in the injection-mediated FETAX. These results suggest that Au-PEI25kB may be a good candidate as a nanoscale positive control material for nanoparticle analysis in toxicology and teratology.
Citation
Nanotoxicology

Keywords

FETAX, Xenopus laevis, nanoparticles, gold, polyethyleneimine, PEI, polyethylene glycol, PEG, nanotoxicology, Au-PEI, Au-PEG, positive control

Citation

Reipa, V. , Tona, A. , Yi, F. , Nelson, B. , LaVan, D. , Hackley, V. and Cho, T. (2023), Polyethyleneimine/polyethylene glycol–conjugated gold nanoparticles as nanoscale positive/negative controls in nanotoxicology: Testing in frog embryo teratogenesis assay–Xenopus and mammalian tissue culture system, Nanotoxicology, [online], https://doi.org/10.1080/17435390.2023.2187322 , https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=934900 (Accessed April 16, 2024)
Created March 15, 2023