Cellular uptake of gold nanoparticles triggered by Host-Guest interactions

Jesús Mosquera, Malou Henriksen-Lacey, Isabel García, Miguel Martínez-Calvo, Jéssica Rodríguez, José L. Mascareñas, Luis M. Liz-Marzán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


We describe an approach to regulate the cellular uptake of small gold nanoparticles using supramolecular chemistry. The strategy relies on the functionalization of AuNPs with negatively charged pyranines, which largely hamper their penetration in cells. Cellular uptake can be activated in situ through the addition of cationic covalent cages that specifically recognize the fluorescent pyranine dyes and counterbalance the negative charges. The high selectivity and reversibility of the host-guest recognition activates cellular uptake, even in protein-rich biological media, as well as its regulation by rational addition of either cage or pyranine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4469-4472
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number13
Early online date21 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2018


  • cell uptake
  • metal nanoparticles
  • fluorescence
  • nanopartIcles
  • surface charge


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