Comparison of four methods for the biofunctionalization of gold nanorods by the introduction of sulfhydryl groups to antibodies.
ABSTRACT: Introducing sulfhydryl groups to biomolecules to functionalize gold nanorods (GNRs) is an attractive method that involves the creation of a strong Au-S bond. Previously, we developed a facile method to functionalize GNR surfaces by thiolating antibodies using Traut's reagent. In the current study, we evaluated several methods for the introduction of thiol groups onto the surface of GNRs by using Traut's reagent, dithiotreitol (DTT), dithiolaromatic PEG6-CONHNH2, and thiol-polyethylene glycolamine (SH-PEG-NH2) combined with EDC reaction. We showed that the four above-mentioned thiolation methods can efficiently functionalize GNRs and simplify the functionalization procedures. The formed GNR-bioconjugates showed superior stability without compromising the biological activity. The GNR nanochip prepared with these four thiolated antibodies can detect human IgG targets with specificity. However, SH-PEG-NH2 combined with EDC reaction may affect the amount of functionalized GNRs because of the efficiency of thiol moiety linkage to antibodies, thereby affecting the sensitivity of the GNR sensor. The introduction of a thiol group to antibodies by using Traut's reagent, DTT, and PEG6-CONHNH2 allowed for direct immobilization onto the GNR surface, improved the efficacy of functionalized GNRs, and increased the sensitivity in response to target detection as a biosensor. Given that PEG6-CONHNH2 modification requires glycosylated biomolecules, Traut's reagent and DTT thiolation are recommended as universal applications of GNR biofunctionalization and can be easily extended to other sensing applications based on other gold nanostructures or new biomolecules.
Project description:Conjugation of biomolecules on gold nanorod (GNR) surfaces is the basis for successful applications in biosensing, imaging, and drug delivery. Current functionalization methods are often problematic, involving multi-step nanoparticle modification to replace surfactant bilayer, delicate nanoparticle protection during surfactant exchange, and material loss due to inevitable aggregation. Instead of intensive surface modification of GNRs, we describe herein a facile method to functionalize gold nanorod surfaces via covalent Au-S bonds by thiolating receptors. The resulting GNR-bioconjugates showed superior dispersion and stability in buffer for months without morphology change and aggregation. ELISA tests confirmed the high biofunctionality of the thiolated anti-IgG moieties immobilized on the GNR surfaces. Furthermore, this simple method facilitated a straightforward functionalization of GNR assembly on glass substrate to construct a specific biochip, which can detect human IgG targets in a label-free fashion with high sensitivity and specificity. Compared to electropolymeric coating to functionalize the GNR, our method exhibited a five-fold enhancement in the spectral sensitivity to refractive index change caused by the target binding. This universal GNR bioconjugation method can be extended to bind different proteins and antibodies for development of biosensors or drug delivery.
Project description:Environmentally responsive nanoassemblies based on polypeptides and nanoparticles can have a number of promising biological/biomedical applications. We report the generation of gold nanorod (GNR)-elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) nanoassemblies whose optical response can be manipulated based on exposure to near-infrared (NIR) light. Cysteine-containing ELPs were self-assembled on GNRs mediated by gold-thiol bonds, leading to the generation of GNR-ELP nanoassemblies. Exposure of GNR-ELP assemblies to NIR light resulted in the heating of GNRs due to surface plasmon resonance. Heat transfer from the GNRs resulted in an increase in temperature of the self-assembled ELP above its transition temperature (Tt), which led to a phase transition and aggregation of the GNR-ELP assemblies. This phase transition was detected using an optical readout (increase in optical density); no change in optical behavior was observed in the case of either ELP alone or GNR alone. The optical response was reproducibele and reversible across a number of cycles following exposure to or removal of the laser excitation. Our results indicate that polypeptides may be interfaced with GNRs resulting in optically responsive nanoasssemblies for sensing and drug delivery applications.
Project description:Gold nanorods (GNRs) are of great interest in cancer therapy given their ability to ablate tumor cells using deep tissue-penetrating near-infrared light. GNRs coated with tumor-specific moieties have the potential to target tumor tissue to minimize damage to normal tissue. However, perfect targeting is difficult to achieve given that nanoparticles could be broadly dispersed inside the body. Moreover, interaction between targeting groups and biological molecules could lower targeting abilities, resulting in off-target accumulation which might produce nanotoxicity. Here we introduce GNR-encapsulated microcubes (GNR@MCs) that can be utilized as implantable photothermal agents. GNR@MCs are created by encapsulating GNRs in polymeric networks via stop flow lithography (SFL), a one-phase synthesis technique which allows for creation of surfactant-free, uniform particles, and injection of GNR@MCs into the body after a simple rinse step. GNRs are highly packed and firmly encapsulated inside MCs, and entrapped GNRs exhibit optical properties comparable to that of unbound GNRs and photothermal efficiency (58%) in line with that of nano-sized agents (51-95%). Photothermal ablation in murine models is achieved using GNR@MCs stably implanted into the tumor tissue, which suggests that GNR@MCs can be a safe and effective platform for cancer therapy.
Project description:Gold nanorods (GNRs) exhibit a tunable longitudinal surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) that depends on the GNR aspect ratio (AR). Independently controlling the AR and size of GNRs remains challenging but is important because the scattering intensity strongly depends on the GNR size. Here, we report a secondary (seeded) growth procedure, wherein continuous addition of ascorbic acid (AA) to a stirring solution of GNRs, stabilized by cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and synthesized by a common GNR growth procedure, deposits the remaining (~70%) of the Au precursor onto the GNRs. The growth phase of GNR synthesis is often performed without stirring, since stirring has been believed to reduce the yield of rod-shaped nanoparticles, but we report that stirring coupled with continuous addition of AA during secondary growth allows improved control over the AR and size of GNRs. After a common primary GNR growth procedure, the LSPR of GNRs is ~820 nm, which can be tuned between ~700-880 nm during secondary growth by adjusting the rate of AA addition or adding benzyldimethylhexadecylammonium chloride hydrate (BDAC). This approach for secondary growth can also be used with primary GNRs of different ARs to achieve different LSPRs and can likely be extended to nanoparticles of different shapes and other metals.
Project description:Dithiothreitol (DTT) is the standard reagent for reducing disulfide bonds between and within biological molecules. At neutral pH, however, >99% of DTT thiol groups are protonated and thus unreactive. Herein, we report on (2S)-2-amino-1,4-dimercaptobutane (dithiobutylamine or DTBA), a dithiol that can be synthesized from l-aspartic acid in a few high-yielding steps that are amenable to a large-scale process. DTBA has thiol pK(a) values that are ~1 unit lower than those of DTT and forms a disulfide with a similar E°' value. DTBA reduces disulfide bonds in both small molecules and proteins faster than does DTT. The amino group of DTBA enables its isolation by cation-exchange and facilitates its conjugation. These attributes indicate that DTBA is a superior reagent for reducing disulfide bonds in aqueous solution.
Project description:We present a robust method for loading small interfering RNA (siRNA) duplexes onto the surfaces of gold nanorods (GNRs) at high density, using near-infrared laser irradiation to trigger their intracellular release with subsequent knockdown activity. Citrate-stabilized GNRs were first coated with oleylsulfobetaine, a zwitterionic amphiphile with low cytotoxicity, which produced stable dispersions at high ionic strength. Amine-modified siRNA duplexes were converted into dithiocarbamate (DTC) ligands and adsorbed onto GNR surfaces in a single incubation step at 0.5 M NaCl, simplifying the charge screening process. The DTC anchors were effective at minimizing premature siRNA desorption and release, a common but often overlooked problem in the use of gold nanoparticles as oligonucleotide carriers. The activity of GNR-siRNA complexes was evaluated systematically against an eGFP-producing ovarian cancer cell line (SKOV-3) using folate receptor-mediated uptake. Efficient knockdown was achieved by using a femtosecond-pulsed laser source to release DTC-anchored siRNA, with essentially no contributions from spontaneous (dark) RNA desorption. GNRs coated with thiol-anchored siRNA duplexes were less effective and also permitted low levels of knockdown activity without photothermal activation. Optimized siRNA delivery conditions were applied toward the targeted knockdown of transglutaminase 2, whose expression is associated with the progression of recurrent ovarian cancer, with a reduction in activity of >80% achieved after a single pulsed laser treatment.
Project description:Tumor hypoxia is a well-recognized driver of resistance to traditional cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. We describe development of a new nanoconstruct composed of gold nanorods (GNRs) conjugated to carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX) antibody that specifically binds to CAIX, a biomarker of hypoxia, to facilitate targeting tumor hypoxic areas for focused photothermal ablation. Physicochemical characterization studies confirmed the size, shape, monodispersity, surface charge, and serum stability of the GNRs. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and cellular binding and uptake studies confirmed successful conjugation of antibody to the GNRs and specificity for CAIX. Near-infrared irradiation of CAIX-overexpressing cells treated with GNR/anti-CAIX resulted in significantly higher cell death than cells treated with control GNRs. In vivo biodistribution studies using hyperspectral imaging and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry confirmed intravenous administration results not only in greater accumulation of GNR/anti-CAIX in tumors than control GNRs but also greater penetration into hypoxic areas of tumors. Near-infrared ablation of these tumors showed no tumor regression in the sham-treated group, regression but recurrence in the non-targeted-GNR group, and complete tumor regression in the targeted-GNR group. GNR/anti-CAIX nanoconstructs show promise as hypoxia targeting and photothermal ablation agents for cancer treatment.
Project description:Optical transduction of biological bindings based on localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) of gold nanorods (GNRs) is attractive for label-free biosensing. The aspect ratio (AR) dependence of LSPR band maxima inherently provides an ideal multiplex mechanism. GNRs of selected sizes can be combined to ensure distinct plasmon peaks in absorption spectrum. Monitoring the spectral shift at the dedicated peaks allows for simultaneous detection of the specific analyte. Here, we first transformed the GNR's multiplexed biosensing capability to a robust chip-based format. Specifically, nanorods of AR 2.6 and 4.5 were assembled onto thiol-terminated substrates, followed by functionalization of respective antibodies to construct a GNR multiplex biochip. As a model system, concentrations of human IgG and rabbit IgG were simultaneously measured by correlating red-shifts at distinct resonance peaks caused by specific target binding. The calibration curves exhibited linear relationship between the spectral shift and analyte amount. The sensing performance in multi-analyte mode correlated nicely with those for single analyte detection with minimal cross-reactivity. Moreover, mixed GNRs can be deposited in controllable array pattern on the glass chip to analyze numerous samples at the same time. Each GNRs dot functioned independently as a multiplexed plamonic sensor. Coupled with microplate reader, this GNR nanoarray chip can potentially result in large scale assay of samples concurrently while for each sample, a multi-analyte detection simultaneously if desired. The concept shown in this work is simple and versatile that will definitely be a new paradigm in high-throughput protein biochip development in the era of nano-biosensing.
Project description:Gold nanorods (GNRs) have emerged as promising nanomaterials for biosensing, imaging, photothermal treatment, and therapeutic delivery for several diseases, including cancer. We have generated poly(amino ether)-functionalized gold nanorods (PAE-GNRs) using a layer-by-layer deposition approach; polymers from a poly(amino ether) library recently synthesized in our laboratory were employed to generate the PAE-GNR assemblies. PAE-GNR assemblies demonstrate long-term colloidal stability as well as the capacity to bind plasmid DNA by means of electrostatic interactions. Sub-toxic concentrations of PAE-GNRs were employed to deliver plasmid DNA to prostate cancer cells in vitro. PAE-GNRs generated using 1,4C-1,4Bis, a cationic polymer from our laboratory demonstrated significantly higher transgene expression and exhibited lower cytotoxicities when compared to similar assemblies generated using 25 kDa poly(ethylene imine) (PEI25k-GNRs), a current standard for polymer-mediated gene delivery. The roles of polyelectrolyte chemistry and zeta-potential in determining transgene expression efficacies of PAE-GNR assemblies were investigated. Our results indicate that stable and effective PAE-GNR assemblies are a promising engineered platform for transgene delivery. PAE-GNRs also have the potential to be used simultaneously for photothermal ablation, photothermally enhanced drug and gene delivery, and biological imaging, thus making them a powerful theranostic platform.
Project description:Graphene nanoribbons (GNRs)-narrow stripes of graphene-have emerged as promising building blocks for nanoelectronic devices. Recent advances in bottom-up synthesis have allowed production of atomically well-defined armchair GNRs with different widths and doping. While all experimentally studied GNRs have exhibited wide bandgaps, theory predicts that every third armchair GNR (widths of N=3m+2, where m is an integer) should be nearly metallic with a very small bandgap. Here, we synthesize the narrowest possible GNR belonging to this family (five carbon atoms wide, N=5). We study the evolution of the electronic bandgap and orbital structure of GNR segments as a function of their length using low-temperature scanning tunnelling microscopy and density-functional theory calculations. Already GNRs with lengths of 5?nm reach almost metallic behaviour with ?100?meV bandgap. Finally, we show that defects (kinks) in the GNRs do not strongly modify their electronic structure.