Optical imaging of absorption and distribution of RITC-SiO2 nanoparticles after oral administration

Chang Moon Lee, Tai Kyoung Lee, Dae Ik Kim, Yu Ri Kim, Meyoung Kon Kim, Hwan Jeong Jeong, Myung Hee Sohn, Seok Tae Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: In this study, we investigated the absorption and distribution of rhodamine B isothiocyanate (RITC)-incorporated silica oxide nanoparticles(SiNPs) (RITC-SiNPs) after oral exposure, by conducting optical imaging, with a focus on tracking the movement of RITC-SiNPs of different particle size and surface charge. Methods: RITC-SiNPs (20 or 100 nm; positively or negatively charged) were used to avoid the dissociation of a fluorescent dye from nanoparticles via spontaneous or enzyme-catalyzed reactions in vivo. The changes in the nanoparticle sizes and shapes were investigated in an HCl solution for 6 hours. RITC-SiNPs were orally administered to healthy nude mice at a dose of 100 mg/kg. Optical imaging studies were performed at 2, 4, and 6 hours after oral administration. The mice were sacrificed at 2, 4, 6, and 10 hours post-administration, and ex vivo imaging studies were performed. Results: The RITC-SiNPs were stable in the HCl solution for 6 hours, without dissociation of RITC from the nanoparticles and without changes in size and shape. RITC-SiNPs flowed into the small intestine from the stomach and gradually moved along the gut during the experiment. In the ex vivo imaging studies, optical signals were observed mostly in the lungs, liver, pancreas, and kidneys. The orally administered RITC-SiNPs, which were absorbed in the systemic circulation, were eliminated from the body into the urine. The 20 nm RITC-SiNPs showed higher uptake in the lungs than the 100 nm RITC-SiNPs. The distribution of the 100 nm RITC-SiNPs in the liver was higher than that of the 20 nm RITC-SiNPs, but the differences in the surface charge behavior were imperceptible. Conclusion: We demonstrated that the movement of RITC-SiNPs after oral exposure could be traced by optical imaging. Optical imaging has the potential to provide valuable information that will help in understanding the behavior of SiNPs in the body following exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-250
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Nanomedicine
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec 15
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Lee et al.


  • Oral exposure
  • Rhodamine B isothiocyanate
  • Silica nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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