Nano Research

Article Title

Direct imaging of titania nanotubes located in mouse neural stem cell nuclei


Titania nanotubes, mouse neural stem cells, nucleus, confocal imaging, atomic force microscopy


Titania nanotubes (TiO2-NTs) are a potential drug vehicle for use in nanomedicine. To this end, a preliminary study of the interaction of a model cell with TiO2-NTs has been carried out. TiO2-NTs were first conjugated with a fl uorescent label, fl uorescein isothiocyanate (FITC). FITC-conjugated titania nanotubes (FITC-TiO2-NTs) internalized in mouse neural stem cells (NSCs, line C17.2) can be directly imaged by confocal microscopy. The confocal imaging showed that FITC-TiO2-NTs readily entered into the cells. After co-incubation with cells for 24 h, FITC-TiO2-NTs localized around the cell nucleus without crossing the karyotheca. More interestingly, the nanotubes passed through the karyotheca entering the cell nucleus after co-incubation for 48 h. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were also employed in tracking the nanotubes in the cell. These results will be of benefi t in future studies of TiO2-NTs for use as a drug vehicle, particularly for DNA-targeting drugs.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press