Probing Nanoparticle-Cell Interaction Using Micro-Raman Spectroscopy: Silver and Gold Nanoparticle-Induced Stress Effects on Optically Trapped Live Red Blood Cells

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ACS Omega


Advancements in the field of nanotechnology have resulted in the emergence of a large variety of engineered nanomaterials for innumerable applications. Despite the ubiquitous use of nanomaterials in daily life, concerns regarding the potential toxicity and safety of these materials have also been raised. There is a high demand for assessing the unwanted effects of both gold and silver nanoparticles, which is increasingly being used in biomedical applications. This paper deals with the study of stress due to silver and gold nanoparticles of varying size on red blood cells (RBCs) using Raman tweezers spectroscopy. RBCs were incubated with nanoparticles of size in the 10-100 nm range with the same concentrations, and micro-Raman spectra were recorded by optically trapping the nanoparticle-treated live RBCs. Spectral modifications implicating hemoglobin deoxygenation were observed in all nanoparticle-treated RBCs. One of the probable reason for the deoxygenation trend can be the adhesion of nanoparticles onto the cell surface causing imbalance in cell functioning. Moreover, the higher spectral variations observed for silver nanoparticles indicate that oxidative stress is involved in cell damage. These mechanisms lead to the modification in the hemoglobin structure because of changes in the pH of cytoplasm, which can be detected using Raman spectroscopy.

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