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Research article2013Peer reviewedOpen access

Large Uptake of Titania and Iron Oxide Nanoparticles in the Nucleus of Lung Epithelial Cells as Measured by Raman Imaging and Multivariate Classification

Ahlinder, Linnea; Ekstrand-Hammarström, Barbro; Geladi, Paul; Österlund, Lars


It is a challenging task to characterize the biodistribution of nanoparticles in cells and tissue on a subcellular level. Conventional methods to study the interaction of nanoparticles with living cells rely on labeling techniques that either selectively stain the particles or selectively tag them with tracer molecules. In this work, Raman imaging, a label-free technique that requires no extensive sample preparation, was combined with multivariate classification to quantify the spatial distribution of oxide nanoparticles inside living lung epithelial cells (A549). Cells were exposed to TiO2 (titania) and/or alpha-FeO(OH) (goethite) nanoparticles at various incubation times (4 or 48 h). Using multivariate classification of hyperspectral Raman data with partial least-squares discriminant analysis, we show that a surprisingly large fraction of spectra, classified as belonging to the cell nucleus, show Raman bands associated with nanoparticles. Up to 40% of spectra from the cell nucleus show Raman bands associated with nanoparticles. Complementary transmission electron microscopy data for thin cell sections qualitatively support the conclusions.

Published in

Biophysical Journal
2013, Volume: 105, number: 2, pages: 310-319
Publisher: CELL PRESS

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics

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