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Near-Infrared Fluorescence Enhanced (NIR-FE) Molecular Imaging of Live Cells on Gold Substrates

By Guosong Hong, Scott M. Tabakman, Kevin Welsher, Zhuo Chen, Joshua T. Robinson, Hailiang Wang, Bo Zhang and Hongjie Dai


Low quantum yields of near infrared (NIR) fluorophores have limited their capabilities as imaging probes in a transparent, low background imaging window. Here for the first time we reported near-infrared fluorescence enhance (NIR-FE) cell imaging using nanostructured Au substrate, which was employed as a general platform for both single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and organic fluorescent labels in the NIR region. Fluorescence intensity, as well as cell targeting specificity, was greatly improved by this novel imaging technique. With NIR-FE imaging, we were able to image SWNT-stained cells at short exposure time of 300ms, and push the detectable limit of SWNT staining of cells down to an ultralow concentration of ~50 pM. Further, different degrees of fluorescence enhancement for endocytosed, intracellular SWNTs vs. nanotubes on the cell membrane at the cell/gold interface were observed, suggesting the possibility of using this technique to track the transmembrane behavior of NIR fluorophores.Comment: in press at Angewandte Chemi

Topics: Physics - Biological Physics
Year: 2011
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