Nanotechnology is proving to play a major role in the future of biomedical applications such as drug delivery, gene therapy and cell imaging/tracking, in particular the use of nanoparticles is regularly highlighted. However with regards to nanoparticles, direct intracellular and intranuclear delivery has, until recently, been difficult to achieve due to the impermeable nature of the plasma and nuclear membranes. The advent of cell penetrating peptides being employed as delivery vectors has opened up many avenues with respect to targeted delivery systems. In this paper, quantum dots were synthesised and functionalised with the HIV-1 tat peptide, and uptake into human bone marrow derived cell populations was assessed. Results demonstrated an increase in uptake for tat modified quantum dots, possibly via a different mechanism to non-modified dots.
Keywords: Cell, nanoparticles, quantum dots, tat peptide