Parameters Affecting the Efficient Delivery of Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticle Materials and Gold Nanorods Into Plant Tissues by the Biolistic Method

Small. 2012 Feb 6;8(3):413-22. doi: 10.1002/smll.201101294. Epub 2011 Dec 16.


Applying nanotechnology to plant science requires efficient systems for the delivery of nanoparticles (NPs) to plant cells and tissues. The presence of a cell wall in plant cells makes it challenging to extend the NP delivery methods available for animal research. In this work, research is presented which establishes an efficient NP delivery system for plant tissues using the biolistic method. It is shown that the biolistic delivery of mesoporous silica nanoparticle (MSN) materials can be improved by increasing the density of MSNs through gold plating. Additionally, a DNA-coating protocol is used based on calcium chloride and spermidine for MSN and gold nanorods to enhance the NP-mediated DNA delivery. Furthermore, the drastic improvement of NP delivery is demonstrated when the particles are combined with 0.6 μm gold particles during bombardment. The methodology described provides a system for the efficient delivery of NPs into plant cells using the biolistic method.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biolistics / methods*
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Nanoparticles / ultrastructure
  • Nanotubes / chemistry*
  • Nanotubes / ultrastructure
  • Onions / metabolism
  • Particle Size
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Porosity
  • Silicon Dioxide / chemistry*
  • Surface Properties
  • Tobacco / metabolism
  • Zea mays / metabolism


  • Gold
  • Silicon Dioxide
  • DNA