American Chemical Society
am1c09701_si_005.mp4 (1.98 MB)

Bioscaffold Stiffness Mediates Aerosolized Nanoparticle Uptake in Lung Epithelial Cells

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posted on 2021-10-19, 15:50 authored by Austin H. Williams, Adrien M. Hebert, Robert C. Boehm, Mary E. Huddleston, Meghan R. Jenkins, Orlin D. Velev, M. Tyler Nelson
In this study, highly porous, ultrasoft polymeric mats mimicking human tissues were formed from novel polyurethane soft dendritic colloids (PU SDCs). PU SDCs have a unique fibrillar morphology controlled by antisolvent precipitation. When filtered from suspension, PU SDCs form mechanically robust nonwoven mats. The stiffness of the SDC mats can be tuned for physiological relevance. The unique physiochemical characteristics of the PU SDC particles dictate the mechanical properties resulting in tunable elastic moduli ranging from 200 to 800 kPa. The human lung A549 cells cultured on both stiff and soft PU SDC membranes were found to be viable, capable of supporting the air–liquid interface (ALI) cell culture, and maintained barrier integrity. Furthermore, A549 cellular viability and uptake efficiency of aerosolized tannic acid-coated gold nanoparticles (Ta–Au) was found to depend on elastic modulus and culture conditions. Ta–Au nanoparticle uptake was twofold and fourfold greater on soft PU SDCs, when cultured at submerged and ALI conditions, respectively. The significant increase in endocytosed Ta–Au resulted in a 20% decrease in viability, and a 4-fold increase in IL-8 cytokine secretion when cultured on soft PU SDCs at ALI. Common tissue culture materials exhibit super-physiological elastic moduli, a factor found to be critical in analyzing nanomaterial cellular interactions and biological responses.