Fate of Fluorescence Labels-Their Adsorption and Desorption Kinetics to Silver Nanoparticles.
Silver nanoparticles are among the most widely used and produced nanoparticles. Because of their frequent application in consumer products, the assessment of their toxicological potential has seen a renewed importance. A major difficulty is the traceability of nanoparticles in in vitro and in vivo experiments. Even if the particles are labeled, for example, by a fluorescent marker, the dynamic exchange of ligands often prohibits their spatial localization. Our study provides an insight into the adsorption and desorption kinetics of two different fluorescent labels on silver nanoparticles with a core radius of 3 nm by dynamic light scattering, small-angle X-ray scattering, and fluorescence spectroscopy. We used BSA-FITC and tyrosine as examples for common fluorescent ligands. It is shown that the adsorption of BSA-FITC takes at least 3 days, whereas tyrosine adsorbs immediately. The quantitative amount of stabilizer on the particle surface was determined by fluorescence spectroscopy and revealed that the particles are stabilized by a monolayer of BSA-FITC (corresponding to 20 ± 9 molecules), whereas tyrosine forms a multilayered structure consisting of 15900 ± 200 molecules. Desorption experiments show that the BSA-FITC-stabilized particles are ideally suited for application in in vitro and in vivo experiments because the ligand desorption takes several days. Depending on the BSA concentration in the particles surroundings, the rate constant is k = 0.2 per day or lower when applying first order kinetics, that is, 50% of the BSA-FITC molecules are released from the particle's surface within 3.4 days. For illustration, we provide a first application of the fluorescence-labeled particles in an uptake study with two different commonly used cell lines, the human liver cell model HepG2 and the human intestinal cell model of differentiated Caco-2 cells.