Encapsulation of organic molecules in calcium phosphate nanocomposite particles for intracellular imaging and drug delivery

Thomas T. Morgan, Hari S. Muddana, Erhan I. Altinoǧlu, Sarah M. Rouse, Amra Tabaković, Tristan Tabouillot, Timothy J. Russin, Sriram S. Shanmugavelandy, Peter J. Butler, Peter C. Eklund, Jong K. Yun, Mark Kester, James H. Adair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

283 Scopus citations


Encapsulation of imaging agents and drugs in calcium phosphate nanoparticles (CPNPs) has potential as a nontoxic, bioresorbable vehicle for drug delivery to cells and tumors. The objectives of this study were to develop a calcium phosphate nanoparticle encapsulation system for organic dyes and therapeutic drugs so that advanced fluoresence methods could be used to assess the efficiency of drug delivery and possible mechanisms of nanoparticle bioabsorption. Highly concentrated CPNPs encapsulating a variety of organic fluorophores were successfully synthesized. Well-dispersed CPNPs encapsulating Cy3 amidite exhibited nearly a 5-fold increase in fluorescence quantum yield when compared to the free dye in PBS. FCS diffusion data and cell staining were used to show pH-dependent dissolution of the particles and cellular uptake, respectively. Furthermore, an experimental hydrophobic cell growth inhibitor, ceramide, was successfully delivered in vitro to human vascular smooth muscle cells via encapsulation in CPNPs. These studies demonstrate that CPNPs are effective carriers of dyes and drugs for bioimaging and, potentially, for therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4108-4115
Number of pages8
JournalNano letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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