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Diatomite is a natural fossil material of sedimentary origin, constituted by fragments of diatom siliceous skeletons. In this preliminary work, the properties of diatomite nanoparticles as potential system for the delivery of drugs in cancer cells were exploited. A purification procedure, based on thermal treatments in strong acid solutions, was used to remove inorganic and organic impurities from diatomite and to make them a safe material for medical applications. The micrometric diatomite powder was reduced in nanoparticles by mechanical crushing, sonication, and filtering. Morphological analysis performed by dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy reveals a particles size included between 100 and 300 nm. Diatomite nanoparticles were functionalized by 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane and labeled by tetramethylrhodamine isothiocyanate. Different concentrations of chemically modified nanoparticles were incubated with cancer cells and confocal microscopy was performed. Imaging analysis showed an efficient cellular uptake and homogeneous distribution of nanoparticles in cytoplasm and nucleus, thus suggesting their potentiality as nanocarriers for drug delivery. 87.85.J81.05.Rm; 61.46. + w
Publication date: 
1 Dec 2014

Immacolata Ruggiero, Monica Terracciano, Nicola M Martucci, Luca De Stefano, Nunzia Migliaccio, Rosarita Tatè, Ivo Rendina, Paolo Arcari, Annalisa Lamberti, Ilaria Rea

Biblio References: 
Volume: 9 Issue: 1 Pages: 1-7
Nanoscale research letters