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

Simple attraction: Researchers control protein release from nanoparticles without encapsulation: U of T Engineering discovery stands to improve reliability and fabrication process for treatments to conditions such as spinal cord damage and stroke May 28th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Harnessing solar and wind energy in one device could power the 'Internet of Things' May 26th, 2016

Thermal modification of wood and a complex study of its properties by magnetic resonance May 26th, 2016

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Programmable materials find strength in molecular repetition May 23rd, 2016

Nanotubes are beacons in cancer-imaging technique: Rice University researchers use spectral triangulation to pinpoint location of tumors May 21st, 2016

Unveiling the electron's motion in a carbon nanocoil: Development of a precise resistivity measurement system for quasi-one-dimensional nanomaterials using a focused ion beam May 16th, 2016

New research shows how silver could be the key to gold-standard flexible gadgets: Silver nanowires are an ideal material for current and future flexible touch-screen technologies May 13th, 2016

Nanomedicine

Simple attraction: Researchers control protein release from nanoparticles without encapsulation: U of T Engineering discovery stands to improve reliability and fabrication process for treatments to conditions such as spinal cord damage and stroke May 28th, 2016

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Supercrystals with new architecture can enhance drug synthesis May 24th, 2016

Nanoscale Trojan horses treat inflammation May 24th, 2016

Discoveries

Simple attraction: Researchers control protein release from nanoparticles without encapsulation: U of T Engineering discovery stands to improve reliability and fabrication process for treatments to conditions such as spinal cord damage and stroke May 28th, 2016

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Finding a new formula for concrete: Researchers look to bones and shells as blueprints for stronger, more durable concrete May 26th, 2016

Announcements

Simple attraction: Researchers control protein release from nanoparticles without encapsulation: U of T Engineering discovery stands to improve reliability and fabrication process for treatments to conditions such as spinal cord damage and stroke May 28th, 2016

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Deep Space Industries and SFL selected to provide satellites for HawkEye 360’s Pathfinder mission: The privately-funded space-based global wireless signal monitoring system will be developed by Deep Space Industries and UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory May 26th, 2016

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