It is generally. known that gold nanoparticles are localised in the cytoplasm and, if synthesised in small sizes or functionalized with specific proteins, they enter the cell nucleus. However, there is no report emphasising the importance of surface functionalization in their accumulation in the nucleolus. Here, for the first time in the. literature, it is proposed that functionalization of gold nanoparticles with a thin layer of polyethyleneimine (PEI) spearheads them to the nucleolus of hard-to-transfect post-mitotic dorsal root ganglion neurones in a size-independent manner. As a potential for theranostic applications, it was found that functionalization with a. thin layer of PEI affected the emission signal intensity of gold nanoparticles so that the. cellular biodistribution of nanoparticles was visualised. clearly under both confocal and two-photon microscopes.