A research team in Asia has developed a method for tracking, or etracingf, cells that overcomes the limitations of existing methods. The teamfs fluorescent organic tracers will provide researchers with a non-invasive tool to continually track biological processes for long periods. Applications for the tracers include following carcinogenesis or the progress of interventions such as stem cell therapies.
Bin Liu and Ben Zhong Tang of the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering in Singapore and their co-workers developed probes composed of a small number of molecules that aggregate. The aggregation means that the probes have more detectable fluorescence and less leakage than that provided by single-molecule probes. Importantly, rather than eblinkf, the teamfs tracers show steady fluorescence, and do not contain heavy metal ions that can be toxic for living systems.
Compared with their existing inorganic counterparts, the teamfs carbon-based tracers show greater chemical stability and improved biocompatibility with cell biochemistry. They are also more resistant to bleaching by light and do not interfere with normal biochemical processes. Furthermore, the fluorescent signals emitted by the probes do not overlap with the signal naturally emitted by cells.
The tracers developed by Liu, Tang and their colleagues are examples of fquantum dotsf, as they are composed of a small number of molecules with optical characteristics that rely on quantum-mechanical effects. Technically, they are referred to as aggregation-induced emission dots (AIE dots) as they become photostable and highly efficient fluorescent emitters when their component molecules aggregate.
The assembly of the AIE dots began with the synthesis of organic molecules, specifically 2,3-bis(4-(phenyl(4-(1,2,2-triphenylvinyl)phenyl)amino)phenyl)fumaronitrile (TPETPAFN), which the researchers then encapsulated in an insoluble lipid-based matrix. Next, the researchers attached small peptide molecules derived from the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to exploit the ability of these peptides to promote efficient uptake of AIE dots into living cells.
gOur AIE dots could track isolated human breast cancer cells in vitro for 10 to 12 generations and glioma tumor cells in vivo in mice for 21 days,h says Liu. gThey outperform existing commercial inorganic quantum dots, and open a new avenue in the development of advanced fluorescent probes for following biological processes such as carcinogenesis, stem cell transplantation and other cell-based therapies.h
Future work by Liu, Tang and co-workers will aim to broaden the application of the organic tracers for their use in conjunction with magnetic resonance and nuclear imaging techniques.The A*STAR]affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy