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    Experimental and theoretical approach to comparative nanoparticle and small molecule intracellular import, trafficking, and export
    Central to understanding how nanoscale objects interact with living matter is the need for reproducible and verifiable data that can be interpreted with confidence. Likely this will be the basis of durable advances in nanomedicine and nanomedical safety. To develop these fields, there is also considerable interest in advancing the first generation of theoretical models of nanoparticle (NP) uptake into cells, and NP biodistribution in general. Here we present an uptake study comparing the outcomes for free molecular dye and NPs labeled with the same dye. A simple flux-based approach is presented to model NP uptake. We find that the intracellular NP concentration grows linearly in time, and that the uptake is essentially irreversible, with the particles accumulating in lysosomes. A wide range of practical challenges, from labile dye release to NP aggregation and the need to account for cell division, are addressed to ensure that these studies yield meaningful kinetic information.
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