Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Nanotubes Glow, Even Within Biological Cells

Abstract:
In some of the first work documenting the uptake of carbon nanotubes by living cells, a team of scientists from Rice University and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have studied low concentrations of nanotubes in laboratory cell cultures. The research appears in this week's Journal of the American Chemical Society. It suggests that white blood cells treated nanotubes like other extracellular particles - ingesting them and sealing them off inside phagosomes.

Nanotubes Glow, Even Within Biological Cells

Scientists Use Fluorescence to Track Ultrafine Particles Taken Up by White Blood Cells

Pasadena, CA | December 06, 2004

In some of the first work documenting the uptake of carbon nanotubes by living cells, a team of chemists and life scientists from Rice University and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston's Texas Heart Institute have selectively detected low concentrations of nanotubes in laboratory cell cultures.

The research appears in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. It suggests that the white blood cells, which were incubated in dilute solutions of nanotubes, treated the nanotubes as they would other extracellular particles - actively ingesting them and sealing them off inside chambers known as phagosomes.

"Our goal in doing the experiment was both to learn how the biological function of the cells was affected by the nanotubes and to see if the fluorescent properties of the nanotubes would change inside a living cell," said lead researcher Bruce Weisman, professor of chemistry at Rice. "On the first point, we found no adverse effects on the cells, and on the second, we found that the nanotubes retained their unique optical properties, which allowed us to use a specialized microscope tuned to the near-infrared to pinpoint their locations within the cells."

The research builds upon Weisman's groundbreaking 2002 discovery that each of the dozens of varieties of semiconducting, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) emits its own unique fluorescent signature.

The new findings suggest that SWNTs might be valuable biological imaging agents, in part because SWNTs fluoresce in the near-infrared portion of the spectrum, at wavelengths not normally emitted by biological tissues. This may allow light from even a handful of nanotubes to be selectively detected from within the body.

Carbon nanotubes are cylinders of carbon atoms that measure about one nanometer, or one-billionth of a meter, in diameter. They are larger than a molecule of water, but are about 10,000 times smaller than a white blood cell.

The latest tests bode well on two counts. Not only did the nanotubes retain their optical signatures after entering the white blood cells, but the introduction of nanotubes caused no measurable change in cell properties like shape, rate of growth or the ability to adhere to surfaces.

In conducting the tests, Weisman was joined by colleagues Paul Cherukuri and Silvio Litovsky, both of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston's Texas Heart Institute, and Sergei Bachilo of Rice. The researchers cultured mouse macrophage cells in solutions containing between zero and 7 parts-per-million carbon nanotubes for periods of up to 96 hours. They found that the amount of carbon nanotubes taken up by the cells increased smoothly as the concentration or the time of exposure increased. In addition, some cultures were run at cooler temperatures and showed a slower rate of uptake, a finding that suggested that the nanotubes were being ingested through normal phagocytosis.

The samples were studied using a spectrofluorometer and a fluorescence microscope that was modified for near-IR imaging through the addition of a digital camera containing indium gallium arsenide detector elements.

Although long term studies on toxicity and biodistributions must be completed before nanotubes can be used in medical tests, the new findings indicate nanotubes could soon be useful as imaging markers in laboratory in vitro studies, particularly in cases where the bleaching, toxicity and degradation of more traditional markers are problematic.

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Welch Foundation, the United States Army, Rice's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology and Rice's Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology.

Rice University is consistently ranked one of America's best teaching and research universities. It is distinguished by its: size-2,850 undergraduates and 1,950 graduate students; selectivity-10 applicants for each place in the freshman class; resources-an undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of 6-to-1, and the fifth largest endowment per student among American universities; residential college system, which builds communities that are both close-knit and diverse; and collaborative culture, which crosses disciplines, integrates teaching and research, and intermingles undergraduate and graduate work. Rice's wooded campus is located in the nation's fourth largest city and on America's South Coast.


Contact:
Jade Boyd
(713) 348-6778
jadeboyd@rice.edu

Copyright Rice University

If you have a comment, please us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology

Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology

Related News Press

Possible Futures

Sediment dwelling creatures at risk from nanoparticles in common household products August 13th, 2015

Harris & Harris Group Reports Financial Statements as of June 30, 2015, and Announces a Stock Repurchase Program August 10th, 2015

Molecular trick alters rules of attraction for non-magnetic metals August 5th, 2015

Global Carbon Nanotubes Industry 2015: Acute Market Reports August 4th, 2015

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Developing Component Scale Composites Using Nanocarbons August 26th, 2015

Southampton scientists find new way to detect ortho-para conversion in water August 25th, 2015

Revolutionary MIT-Developed Nanotechnology Company Showcases at CAMX in Dallas August 20th, 2015

Engineering a better 'Do: Purdue researchers are learning how August 4th, 2015

Nanomedicine

Efficiency of Nanodrug Containing Antibiotics in Treatment of Infectious Diseases Evaluated August 31st, 2015

Researchers use DNA 'clews' to shuttle CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool into cells August 30th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Use Artemisia Annua Plant to Produce Breast Cancer Drugs August 29th, 2015

Small but heading for the big time: Nanobiotix half year results for the six months ended 30 June 2015, in line with expectations: Major clinical achievements and corporate developments August 28th, 2015

Discoveries

Scientists 'squeeze' light one particle at a time: A team of scientists have measured a bizarre effect in quantum physics, in which individual particles of light are said to have been 'squeezed' -- an achievement which at least one textbook had written off as hopeless September 1st, 2015

Using ultrathin sheets to discover new class of wrapped shapes: UMass Amherst materials researchers describe a new regime of wrapped shapes August 31st, 2015

An engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets August 31st, 2015

New material science research may advance tech tools August 31st, 2015

Announcements

Nanotech could rid cattle of ticks, with less collateral damage September 1st, 2015

Scientists 'squeeze' light one particle at a time: A team of scientists have measured a bizarre effect in quantum physics, in which individual particles of light are said to have been 'squeezed' -- an achievement which at least one textbook had written off as hopeless September 1st, 2015

An engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets August 31st, 2015

New material science research may advance tech tools August 31st, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic