Thanks to the innovation of “single particle orientation and rotation tracking” (SPORT), we now can watch the distinctive movements of drug delivering nanoparticles in real time. Nanoparticles have the potential to revolutionize drug delivery. When these particles interact with cell membranes they move in all sorts of ways. They spin, they tumble, they move along and through the membrane. At least that’s what we think. But what’s really going on? Until now, we could track how these nanoparticles rotated only by taking a series of still photographs making studies of fast rotations beyond our reach. Nano-sized rods made from gold were modified with drug delivery agents, like transferrin, and watched via SPORT. For the first time, the distinctive rotational behaviors of these modified nanorods were attributed to specific binding sites on the cell membrane. This new technique will lead to a better understanding of nanoparticle-based drug delivery mechanisms and provide guidance on how to improve existing nanoparticle drug delivery technology.
Single Particle Orientation and Rotation Tracking Discloses Distinctive Rotational Dynamics of Drug Delivery Vectors on Live Cell Membranes