Normal and cancer breast epithelial cells endocytosis study of nanoparticles by combined AFM and NSOM microscopy

Yu Zhang, Vahid Yazdanpanah, Mo Yang, Mihrimah Ozkan, Cengiz S. Ozkan

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


A substantial understanding of nanoparticles recognition and uptake by biological cells and tissues is very important for reaching their fullest potential in biomedical research. In this work, we investigated the cell endocytosis of iron oxide nanoparticles by both normal breast epithelial cells (MCF10A) and cancer breast epithelial cells (MCF7) using a combination of Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) and Nearfield Scanning Optical Microscopy (NSOM) without the need of fluorescent labeling. This hybrid AFM/NSOM imaging method is capable of simultaneous recording topographic and near-field optical images, which provide complementary information in both morphology and optical analyses on the cellular exterior and interior. The resolution of images was observed to be very close to the size of tip. For both cell types, the iron oxide nanoparticles without targeting agents were found to be actively uptaken by a vesicle-mediated transport via a two-step process: a first step of binding at the cell membrane, followed by an subsequent internalization step.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2007 7th IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology - IEEE-NANO 2007, Proceedings
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007
Event2007 7th IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology - IEEE-NANO 2007 - Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 2 Aug 20075 Aug 2007


Conference2007 7th IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology - IEEE-NANO 2007
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
CityHong Kong


  • AFM
  • Cell endocytosis
  • Iron oxide nanoparticle
  • NSOM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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