Cellular interactions and formation of an epithelial “Nanocoating-like barrier” with mesoporous silica nanoparticles

Xuan Li, Ka Yan Pang, Tsz Wing Ng, Ping Chung Leung, Cheng Fei Zhang, Ken C F LEUNG*, Lijian Jin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Oral mucosa as the front-line barrier in the mouth is constantly exposed to a complex microenvironment with multitudinous microbes. In this study, the interactions of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) with primary human gingival epithelial cells were analyzed for up to 72 h, and their diffusion capacity in the reconstructed human gingival epithelia (RHGE) and porcine ear skin models was further assessed at 24 h. It was found that the synthesized fluorescent mesoporous silica nanoparticles (RITC-NPs) with low cytotoxicity could be uptaken, degraded, and/or excreted by the human gingival epithelial cells. Moreover, the RITC-NPs penetrated into the stratum corneum of RHGE in a time-dependent manner, while they were unable to get across the barrier of stratum corneum in the porcine ear skins. Consequently, the penetration and accumulation of RITC-NPs at the corneum layers of epithelia could form a “nanocoating-like barrier”. This preliminary proof-of-concept study suggests the feasibility of developing nanoparticle-based antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agents through topical application for oral healthcare.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Coating
  • Human gingival epithelium
  • Nanoparticles
  • Stratum corneum


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