Intracellular trafficking and cellular uptake mechanism of PHBV nanoparticles for targeted delivery in epithelial cell lines

Juan P. Peñaloza, Valeria Márquez-Miranda, Mauricio Cabaña-Brunod, Rodrigo Reyes-Ramírez, Felipe M. Llancalahuen, Cristian Vilos, Fernanda Maldonado-Biermann, Luis A. Velásquez, Juan A. Fuentes, Fernando D. González-Nilo, Maité Rodríguez-Díaz, Carolina Otero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Nanotechnology is a science that involves imaging, measurement, modeling and a manipulation of matter at the nanometric scale. One application of this technology is drug delivery systems based on nanoparticles obtained from natural or synthetic sources. An example of these systems is synthetized from poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate), which is a biodegradable, biocompatible and a low production cost polymer. The aim of this work was to investigate the uptake mechanism of PHBV nanoparticles in two different epithelial cell lines (HeLa and SKOV-3). Results: As a first step, we characterized size, shape and surface charge of nanoparticles using dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy. Intracellular incorporation was evaluated through flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy using intracellular markers. We concluded that cellular uptake mechanism is carried out in a time, concentration and energy dependent way. Our results showed that nanoparticle uptake displays a cell-specific pattern, since we have observed different colocalization in two different cell lines. In HeLa (Cervical cancer cells) this process may occur via classical endocytosis pathway and some internalization via caveolin-dependent was also observed, whereas in SKOV-3 (Ovarian cancer cells) these patterns were not observed. Rearrangement of actin filaments showed differential nanoparticle internalization patterns for HeLa and SKOV-3. Additionally, final fate of nanoparticles was also determined, showing that in both cell lines, nanoparticles ended up in lysosomes but at different times, where they are finally degraded, thereby releasing their contents. Conclusions: Our results, provide novel insight about PHBV nanoparticles internalization suggesting that for develop a proper drug delivery system is critical understand the uptake mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalJournal of Nanobiotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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