Selective Labeling of Proteins on Living Cell Membranes Using Fluorescent Nanodiamond Probes.
ABSTRACT: The impeccable photostability of fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) is an ideal property for use in fluorescence imaging of proteins in living cells. However, such an application requires highly specific labeling of the target proteins with FNDs. Furthermore, the surface of unmodified FNDs tends to adsorb biomolecules nonspecifically, which hinders the reliable targeting of proteins with FNDs. Here, we combined hyperbranched polyglycerol modification of FNDs with the ?-lactamase-tag system to develop a strategy for selective imaging of the protein of interest in cells. The combination of these techniques enabled site-specific labeling of Interleukin-18 receptor alpha chain, a membrane receptor, with FNDs, which eventually enabled tracking of the diffusion trajectory of FND-labeled proteins on the membrane surface.
Project description:Fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) are promising tools to image cells, bioanalytes and physical quantities such as temperature, pressure, and electric or magnetic fields with nanometer resolution. To exploit their potential for intracellular applications, the FNDs have to be brought into contact with cell culture media. The interactions between the medium and the diamonds crucially influence sensitivity as well as the ability to enter cells. The authors demonstrate that certain proteins and salts spontaneously adhere to the FNDs and may cause aggregation. This is a first investigation on the fundamental questions on how (a) FNDs interact with the medium, and (b) which proteins and salts are being attracted. A differentiation between strongly binding and weakly binding proteins is made. Not all proteins participate in the formation of FND aggregates. Surprisingly, some main components in the medium seem to play no role in aggregation. Simple strategies to prevent aggregation are discussed. These include adding the proteins, which are naturally present in the cell culture to the diamonds first and then inserting them in the full medium. Graphical abstractSchematic of the interaction of nanodiamonds with cell culture medium. Certain proteins and salts adhere to the diamond surface and lead to aggregation or to formation of a protein corona.
Project description:Fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) are proposed to be used as free radical biosensors, as they function as magnetic sensors, changing their optical properties depending on their magnetic surroundings. Free radicals are produced during natural cell metabolism, but when the natural balance is disturbed, they are also associated with diseases and aging. Sensitive methods to detect free radicals are challenging, due to their high reactivity and transiency, providing the need for new biosensors such as FNDs. Here we have studied in detail the stress response of an aging model system, yeast cells, upon FND internalization to assess whether one can safely use this biosensor in the desired model. This was done by measuring metabolic activity, the activity of genes involved in different steps and the locations of the oxidative stress defense systems and general free radical activity. Only minimal, transient FND-related stress effects were observed, highlighting excellent biocompatibility in the long term. This is a crucial milestone towards the applicability of FNDs as biosensors in free radical research.
Project description:Nanodiamonds containing high density ensembles of negatively charged nitrogen-vacancy (NV(-)) centers are promising fluorescent biomarkers due to their excellent photostability and biocompatibility. The NV(-) centers in the particles have a fluorescence lifetime of up to 20?ns, which distinctly differs from those (<10?ns) of cell and tissue autofluorescence, making it possible to achieve background-free detection in vivo by time gating. Here, we demonstrate the feasibility of using fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) as optical labels for wide-field time-gated fluorescence imaging and flow cytometric analysis of cancer cells with a nanosecond intensified charge-coupled device (ICCD) as the detector. The combined technique has allowed us to acquire fluorescence images of FND-labeled HeLa cells in whole blood covered with a chicken breast of ~0.1-mm thickness at the single cell level, and to detect individual FND-labeled HeLa cells in blood flowing through a microfluidic device at a frame rate of 23?Hz, as well as to locate and trace FND-labeled lung cancer cells in the blood vessels of a mouse ear. It opens a new window for real-time imaging and tracking of transplanted cells (such as stem cells) in vivo.
Project description:Fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) emit in the near-IR and do not photobleach or photoblink. These properties make FNDs better suited for numerous imaging applications compared with commonly used fluorescence agents such as organic dyes and quantum dots. However, nanodiamonds do not form stable suspensions in aqueous buffer, are prone to aggregation, and are difficult to functionalize. Here we present a method for encapsulating nanodiamonds with silica using an innovative liposome-based encapsulation process that renders the particle surface biocompatible, stable, and readily functionalized through routine linking chemistries. Furthermore, the method selects for a desired particle size and produces a monodisperse agent. We attached biotin to the silica-coated FNDs and tracked the three-dimensional motion of a biotinylated FND tethered by a single DNA molecule with high spatial and temporal resolution.
Project description:Cationic polymers are often employed in conjugation with nanomaterials, and the resultant hybrids are useful for various bioapplications. Here, a single-step metal-free method for the synthesis of fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) conjugated with cationic polymer brushes is reported. Distinct from the common methods such as atom transfer radical polymerization and reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer, our ring-opening-polymerization-based method is simple and less time consuming and hazardous. Infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, zeta potential, and dynamic light scattering confirmed the synthesis. The produced FND-polymer brushes showed markedly higher cell labeling and internalization efficiency without noticeable cytotoxicity. Our method is general and applicable to other nanoparticles as well for uses in diverse research areas.
Project description:Nanodiamond is a promising carbon nanomaterial developed for biomedical applications. Here, we show fluorescent nanodiamond (FND) with the biocompatible properties that can be used for the labeling and tracking of neuronal differentiation and neuron cells derived from embryonal carcinoma stem (ECS) cells. The fluorescence intensities of FNDs were increased by treatment with FNDs in both the mouse P19 and human NT2/D1 ECS cells. FNDs were taken into ECS cells; however, FNDs did not alter the cellular morphology and growth ability. Moreover, FNDs did not change the protein expression of stem cell marker SSEA-1 of ECS cells. The neuronal differentiation of ECS cells could be induced by retinoic acid (RA). Interestingly, FNDs did not affect on the morphological alteration, cytotoxicity and apoptosis during the neuronal differentiation. Besides, FNDs did not alter the cell viability and the expression of neuron-specific marker ?-III-tubulin in these differentiated neuron cells. The existence of FNDs in the neuron cells can be identified by confocal microscopy and flow cytometry. Together, FND is a biocompatible and readily detectable nanomaterial for the labeling and tracking of neuronal differentiation process and neuron cells from stem cells.
Project description:Thermometers play an important role to study the biological significance of temperature. Fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) with negatively-charged nitrogen-vacancy centers, a novel type of fluorescence-based temperature sensor, have physicochemical inertness, low cytotoxicity, extremely stable fluorescence, and unique magneto-optical properties that allow us to measure the temperature at the nanoscale level inside single cells. Here, we demonstrate that the thermosensing ability of FNDs is hardly influenced by environmental factors, such as pH, ion concentration, viscosity, molecular interaction, and organic solvent. This robustness renders FNDs reliable thermometers even under complex biological cellular environment. Moreover, the simple protocol developed here for measuring the absolute temperature inside a single cell using a single FND enables successful temperature measurement in a cell with an accuracy better than ±1°C.
Project description:Nanodiamond (ND) has emerged as a promising carbon nanomaterial for therapeutic applications. In previous studies, ND has been reported to have outstanding biocompatibility and high uptake rate in various cell types. ND containing nitrogen-vacancy centers exhibit fluorescence property is called fluorescent nanodiamond (FND), and has been applied for bio-labeling agent. However, the influence and application of FND on the nervous system remain elusive. In order to study the compatibility of FND on the nervous system, neurons treated with FNDs in vitro and in vivo were examined. FND did not induce cytotoxicity in primary neurons from either central (CNS) or peripheral nervous system (PNS); neither did intracranial injection of FND affect animal behavior. The neuronal uptake of FNDs was confirmed using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. However, FND caused a concentration-dependent decrease in neurite length in both CNS and PNS neurons. Time-lapse live cell imaging showed that the reduction of neurite length was due to the spatial hindrance of FND on advancing axonal growth cone. These findings demonstrate that FNDs exhibit low neuronal toxicity but interfere with neuronal morphogenesis, and should be taken into consideration when applications involve actively growing neurites (e.g. nerve regeneration).
Project description:Intracellular thermometry provides important information about the physiological activity of single cells and has been implemented using diverse temperature-sensitive materials as nanoprobes. However, measuring the temperature of specific organelles or subcellular structures is challenging because it requires precise positioning of the nanoprobes. Here, it is shown that dispersed fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) endocytosed in living cells can be aggregated into microspheres using optical forces and used as intracellular temperature probes. The aggregation of the FNDs and electromagnetic resonance between individual nanodiamonds in the microspheres lead to a sevenfold intensity enhancement of 546-nm laser excitation. With the assistance of a scanning optical tweezing system, the FND microspheres can be precisely patterned and positioned within the cells. By measuring the fluorescence spectra of the microspheres, the temperatures at different locations within the cells are detected. The method provides an approach to the constructing and positioning of nanoprobes in an intracellular manner, which has potential applications in high-precision and flexible single-cell analysis.
Project description:Fluorescent nanodiamonds (fNDs) represent an emerging class of nanomaterials offering great opportunities for ultrahigh resolution imaging, sensing and drug delivery applications. Their biocompatibility, exceptional chemical and consistent photostability renders them particularly attractive for correlative light-electron microscopy studies providing unique insights into nanoparticle-cell interactions. Herein, we demonstrate a stringent procedure to image and quantify fNDs with a high contrast down to the single particle level in cells. Individual fNDs were directly visualized by energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy, that is, inside newly forming, early endosomal vesicles during their cellular uptake processes as well as inside cellular organelles such as a mitochondrion. Furthermore, we demonstrate the unequivocal identification, localization, and quantification of individual fNDs in larger fND clusters inside intracellular vesicles. Our studies are of great relevance to obtain quantitative information on nanoparticle trafficking and their various interactions with cells, membranes, and organelles, which will be crucial to design-improved sensors, imaging probes, and nanotherapeutics based on quantitative data.