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Natarajan, P;Roberts, JD;Kunte, N;Hunter, WB;Fleming, SD;Tomich, JM;Avila, LA;
Understanding cellular uptake mechanisms of nanoparticles with therapeutic potential has become critical in the field of drug delivery. Elucidation of cellular entry routes can aid in the dissection of the complex intracellular trafficking and potentially allow for the manipulation of nanoparticle fate after cellular delivery (i.e. avoid lysosomal degradation). Branched amphiphilic peptide capsules (BAPCs) are peptide nanoparticles that have been and are being explored as delivery systems for nucleic acids and other therapeutic molecules vitroand in vivo. In the present study, we determined the cellular uptake routes of BAPCs with and without a magnetic nanobead core (BAPc-MNBs) in two cell lines: macrophages and intestinal epithelial cells. We also studied the influence of size and growth media composition in this cellular process. Substituting the water filled core with magnetic nanobeads might provide the peptide bilayer nanocapsules with added functionalities, facilitating their use in bio/immunoassays, magnetic field guided drug delivery and magnetofection among others. Results suggest that BAPc-MNBs are internalized into the cytosol using more than one endocytic pathway. Flow cytometry and analysis of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) demonstrated that cell viability was minimally impacted by BAPc-MNBs. Cellular uptake pathways of peptide vesicles remain poorly understood, particularly with respect to endocytosis and intracellular trafficking. Outcomes from these studies provide a fundamental understanding of the cellular uptake of this peptide-based delivery system which will allow for strengthening of their delivery capabilities and expanding their therapeutic applications.