Visualizing Uptake and Intracellular Trafficking of Gene Carriers by Single-Particle Tracking

  • N. RuthardtEmail author
  • C. Bräuchle
Part of the Topics in Current Chemistry book series (TOPCURRCHEM, volume 296)


Single-particle microscopy und live-cell single-particle tracking are powerful tools to follow the cellular internalization pathway of individual nanoparticles such as viruses and gene carriers and investigate their interaction with living cells. Those single-cell and single-particle methods can elucidate the “black box” between application of the gene carrier to the cell and the final gene expression and allow the essential bottlenecks to be identified in great detail on the cellular level. In this review we will give a short introduction into single-particle tracking microscopy and present an overview of the mechanisms of DNA delivery from attachment to the cell membrane over internalization towards nuclear entry unraveled by single-particle methods.


DNA/RNA transfection Fluorescence wide-field microscopy Gene carriers Gene therapy Single-particle tracking Trajectory analysis 



Epidermal growth factor


Enhanced green fluorescent protein


Nerve growth factor







This work was supported by the Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM) and the Center for Integrated Protein Science Munich (CiPSM) and the SFB 749.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryLudwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenMünchenGermany
  2. 2.Center for NanoScience (CeNS)Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenMünchenGermany

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