Adhesive Interaction Measured Between AFM Probe and Lung Epithelial Type II Cells

TitleAdhesive Interaction Measured Between AFM Probe and Lung Epithelial Type II Cells
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsLeonenko, Z., E. Finot, and M. Amrein
Start Page948
Date Published10/2007
Keywordsadhesion, atomic force microscopy, epithelial type II cells

The toxicity of inhaled nanoparticles entering the body through the lung is thought to be initially defined by the electrostatic and adhesive interaction of the particles with lung’s wall. Here, we investigated the first step of the interaction of nanoparticles with lung epithelial cells using atomic force microscope (AFM) as a force apparatus. Nanoparticles were modeled by the apex of the AFM tip and the forces of interaction between the tip and the cell analyzed over time. The adhesive force and work of adhesion strongly increased for the first 100 s of contact and then leveled out. During this time, the tip was penetrating deeply into the cell. It first crossed a stiff region of the cell and then entered a much more compliant cell region. The work of adhesion and its progression over time were not dependent on the load with which the tip was brought into contact with the cell. We conclude that the initial thermodynamic aspects and the time course of the uptake of nanoparticles by lung epithelial cells can be studied using our experimental approach. It is discussed how the potential health threat posed by nanoparticles of different size and surface characteristics can be evaluated using the method presented.

Refereed DesignationRefereed
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