Nanobioconjugates have been synthesized using cadmium selenide quantum dots (QDs), europium complexes (EuCs), and biotin. In those conjugates, long-lived photoluminescence (PL) is provided by the europium complexes, which efficiently transfer energy via Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) to the QDs in close spatial proximity. As a result, the conjugates have a PL emission spectrum characteristic for QDs combined with the long PL decay time characteristic for EuCs. The nanobioconjugates synthesis strategy and photophysical properties are described as well as their performance in a time-resolved streptavidin-biotin PL assay. In order to prepare the QD-EuC-biotin conjugates, first an amphiphilic polymer has been functionalized with the EuC and biotin. Then, the polymer has been brought onto the surface of the QDs (either QD655 or QD705) to provide functionality and to make the QDs water dispersible. Due to a short distance between EuC and QD, an efficient FRET can be observed. Additionally, the QD-EuC-biotin conjugates’ functionality has been demonstratedin a PL assay yielding good signal discrimination, both from autofluorescence and directly excited QDs. These newly designed QD-EuC-biotin conjugates expand the class of highly sensitive tools for bioanalytical optical detection methods for diagnostic and imaging applications.
The physico-chemical properties of colloidal nanoparticles (NPs) are influenced by their local environment, as, in turn, the local environment influences the physico-chemical properties of the NPs. In other words, the local environment around NPs has a profound impact on the NPs, and it is different from bulk due to interaction with the NP surface. So far, this important effect has not been addressed in a comprehensive way in the literature. The vicinity of NPs can be sensitively influenced by local ions and ligands, with effects already occurring at extremely low concentrations. NPs in the Hückel regime are more sensitive to fluctuations in the ionic environment, because of a larger Debye length. The local ion concentration hereby affects the colloidal stability of the NPs, as it is different from bulk owing to Debye Hückel screening caused by the charge of the NPs. This can have subtle effects, now caused by the environment to the performance of the NP, such as for example a buffering effect caused by surface reaction on ultrapure ligand-free nanogold, a size quenching effect in the presence of specific ions and a significant impact on fluorophore-labelled NPs acting as ion sensors. Thus, the aim of this review is to clarify and give an unifying view of the complex interplay between the NP's surface with their nanoenvironment.
Polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) films and capsules loaded with ion-sensitive fluorophores can be used as ion-sensors for many applications including measurements of intracellular ion concentration. Previous studies have shown the influence of the PEM films/shells on the specific response of encapsulated ion-sensitive fluorophores. PEM shells are considered as semipermeable barriers between the environment and the encapsulated fluorophores. Parameters such as the time response of the encapsulated sensor can be affected by the porosity and charge of the PEM shell. In this study, the time response of an encapsulated pH-sensitive fluorophore towards pH changes in the surrounding environment is investigated. Furthermore, the conductance of PEM films for potassium ions is determined.
To study charge-dependent interactions of nanoparticles (NPs) with biological media and NP uptake by cells, colloidal gold nanoparticles were modified with amphiphilic polymers to obtain NPs with identical physical properties except for the sign of the charge (negative/positive). This strategy enabled us to solely assess the influence of charge on the interactions of the NPs with proteins and cells, without interference by other effects such as different size and colloidal stability. Our study shows that the number of adsorbed human serum albumin molecules per NP was not influenced by their surface charge. Positively charged NPs were incorporated by cells to a larger extent than negatively charged ones, both in serum-free and serum-containing media. Consequently, with and without protein corona (i.e., in serum-free medium) present, NP internalization depends on the sign of charge. The uptake rate of NPs by cells was higher for positively than for negatively charged NPs. Furthermore, cytotoxicity assays revealed a higher cytotoxicity for positively charged NPs, associated with their enhanced uptake.
Sensing and imaging with fluorescent, plasmonic, and magnetic colloidal nano- and microparticles have improved during the past decade. In this review, we describe the concepts and applications of how these techniques can be used in the multiplexed mode, that is, sensing of several analytes in parallel or imaging of several labels in parallel.
An electrochemical sensor for p-aminophenyl phosphate (pAPP) is reported. It is based on the electrochemical conversion of 4-aminophenol (4AP) at a quantum dot (QD) modified electrode under illumination. Without illumination no electron transfer and thus no oxidation of 4AP can occur. pAPP as substrate is converted by the enzyme alkaline phosphatase (ALP) to generate 4AP as a product. The QDs are coupled via 1,4-benzenedithiol (BDT) linkage to the surface of a gold electrode and thus allow potential-controlled photocurrent generation. The photocurrent is modified by the enzyme reaction providing access to the substrate detection. In order to develop a photobioelectrochemical sensor the enzyme is immobilized on top of the photo-switchable layer of the QDs. Immobilization of ALP is required for the potential possibility of spatially resolved measurements. Geometries with immobilized ALP are compared versus having the ALP in solution. Data indicate that functional immobilization with layer-by-layer assembly is possible. Enzymatic activity of ALP and thus the photocurrent can be described by Michaelis- Menten kinetics. pAPP is detected as proof of principle investigation within the range of 25 ?M-1 mM.
In this review we would like to aim at pharmaceuticals engineered on the nanoscale, i.e. pharmaceuticals where the nanomaterial plays the pivotal therapeutic role or adds additional functionality to the previous compound. Those cases would be considered as nanopharmaceuticals. The development of inorganic systems is opening the pharmaceutical nanotechnology novel horizons for diagnosis, imaging and therapy mainly because of their nanometer-size and their high surface area to volume ratios which allow for specific functions that are not possible in the micrometer-size particles. This review will focus on pharmaceutical forms that are based on inorganic nanoparticles where the nanosize of the inorganic component provides unique characteristics to the pharmaceutical form. Several examples of these systems that are either in pre-clinical investigation and under examination by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or that have been already approved by the FDA and are in clinical practice today like Gastromark, NanoTherm, Colloidal Gold for Lateral Flow tests, HfO-NPs, BioVant will be described and reviewed.
Functional nanoparticles (NPs) for bioapplications have been achieved, thanks to synthesis providing high quality nanocrystals, efficient procedures for transfer in water, and further conjugation of (bio)active molecules. However, these nanomaterials are still subjected to batch-to-batch variability and investigations of their physicochemical properties and chemical reactivity are still in their infancy. This may be due to lack of a routine, cost-effective, and readily available quantitative method for characterizing functional NPs. In this work, we show that pH titrations can be a powerful tool for investigating the surface properties of charged NPs and quantifying their surface functionalities. We demonstrate how this method can be useful in characterizing the colloidal and chemical stability, composition, and purity of the nanomaterial. The method also shows potential for the optimization of conjugation conditions.
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