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Nat Commun ; 11(1): 5995, 2020 11 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33239609


Infectious diseases are worldwide a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Fast and specific detection of pathogens such as bacteria is needed to combat these diseases. Optimal methods would be non-invasive and without extensive sample-taking/processing. Here, we developed a set of near infrared (NIR) fluorescent nanosensors and used them for remote fingerprinting of clinically important bacteria. The nanosensors are based on single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) that fluoresce in the NIR optical tissue transparency window, which offers ultra-low background and high tissue penetration. They are chemically tailored to detect released metabolites as well as specific virulence factors (lipopolysaccharides, siderophores, DNases, proteases) and integrated into functional hydrogel arrays with 9 different sensors. These hydrogels are exposed to clinical isolates of 6 important bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli,…) and remote (≥25 cm) NIR imaging allows to identify and distinguish bacteria. Sensors are also spectrally encoded (900 nm, 1000 nm, 1250 nm) to differentiate the two major pathogens P. aeruginosa as well as S. aureus and penetrate tissue (>5 mm). This type of multiplexing with NIR fluorescent nanosensors enables remote detection and differentiation of important pathogens and the potential for smart surfaces.

Nanoscale ; 12(16): 9104-9115, 2020 Apr 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32286598


Cells can take up nanoscale materials, which has important implications for understanding cellular functions, biocompatibility as well as biomedical applications. Controlled uptake, transport and triggered release of nanoscale cargo is one of the great challenges in biomedical applications of nanomaterials. Here, we study how human immune cells (neutrophilic granulocytes, neutrophils) take up nanomaterials and program them to release this cargo after a certain time period. For this purpose, we let neutrophils phagocytose DNA-functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) in vitro that fluoresce in the near infrared (980 nm) and serve as sensors for small molecules. Cells still migrate, follow chemical gradients and respond to inflammatory signals after uptake of the cargo. To program release, we make use of neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis), a novel cell death mechanism that leads to chromatin swelling, subsequent rupture of the cellular membrane and release of the cell's whole content. By using the process of NETosis, we can program the time point of cargo release via the initial concentration of stimuli such as phorbol 12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS). At intermediate stimulation, cells continue to migrate, follow gradients and surface cues for around 30 minutes and up to several hundred micrometers until they stop and release the SWCNTs. The transported and released SWCNT sensors are still functional as shown by subsequent detection of the neurotransmitter dopamine and reactive oxygen species (H2O2). In summary, we hijack a biological process (NETosis) and demonstrate how neutrophils transport and release functional nanomaterials.

Nat Commun ; 11(1): 1495, 2020 03 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32198383


Imaging of complex (biological) samples in the near-infrared (NIR) is beneficial due to reduced light scattering, absorption, phototoxicity, and autofluorescence. However, there are few NIR fluorescent materials known and suitable for biomedical applications. Here we exfoliate the layered pigment CaCuSi4O10 (Egyptian Blue, EB) via ball milling and facile tip sonication into NIR fluorescent nanosheets (EB-NS). The size of EB-NS can be tailored to diameters <20 nm and heights down to 1 nm. EB-NS fluoresce at 910 nm and the fluorescence intensity correlates with the number of Cu2+ ions. Furthermore, EB-NS display no bleaching and high brightness compared with other NIR fluorophores. The versatility of EB-NS is demonstrated by in-vivo single-particle tracking and microrheology measurements in Drosophila melanogaster embryos. EB-NS can be uptaken by plants and remotely detected in a low-cost stand-off detection setup. In summary, EB-NS have the potential for a wide range of bioimaging applications.

Corantes Fluorescentes/efeitos da radiação , Raios Infravermelhos , Imagem Óptica/métodos , Óptica e Fotônica/métodos , Silicatos/efeitos da radiação , Animais , Cobre , Drosophila melanogaster/embriologia , Fluorescência , Íons , Modelos Teóricos , Nanopartículas
Nano Lett ; 20(4): 2432-2442, 2020 04 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32097014


Near-infrared (nIR) fluorescent single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) were designed and interfaced with leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana plants to report hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a key signaling molecule associated with the onset of plant stress. The sensor nIR fluorescence response (>900 nm) is quenched by H2O2 with selectivity against other stress-associated signaling molecules and within the plant physiological range (10-100 H2O2 µM). In vivo remote nIR imaging of H2O2 sensors enabled optical monitoring of plant health in response to stresses including UV-B light (-11%), high light (-6%), and a pathogen-related peptide (flg22) (-10%), but not mechanical leaf wounding (<3%). The sensor's high biocompatibility was reflected on similar leaf cell death (<5%) and photosynthetic rates to controls without SWCNT. These optical nanosensors report early signs of stress and will improve our understanding of plant stress communication, provide novel tools for precision agriculture, and optimize the use of agrochemicals in the environment.

Nanoscale ; 11(23): 11159-11166, 2019 Jun 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31149692


Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have unique photophysical properties and serve as building blocks for biosensors, functional materials and devices. For many applications it is crucial to use chirality-pure SWCNTs, which requires sophisticated processes. Purification procedures such as wrapping by certain polymers, phase separation, density gradient centrifugation or gel chromatography have been developed and yield distinct SWCNT species wrapped by a specific polymer or surfactant. However, many applications require a different organic functionalization (corona) around the SWCNTs instead of the one used for the purification process. Here, we present a novel efficient and straightforward process to gain chirality pure SWCNTs with tunable functionalization. Our approach uses polyfluorene (PFO) polymers to enrich certain chiralities but the polymer is removed again and finally exchanged to any desired organic phase. We demonstrate this concept by dispersing SWCNTs in poly[(9,9-dioctylfluorenyl-2,7-diyl)-alt-co-(6,6'-{2,2'-bipyridine})] (PFO-BPy), which is known to preferentially solubilize (6,5)-SWCNTs. Then PFO-BPy is removed and recycled, while letting the SWCNTs adsorb/agglomerate on sodium chloride (NaCl) crystals, which act as a toluene-stable but water-soluble filler material. In the last step these purified SWCNTs are redispersed in different polymers, surfactants and ssDNA. This corona phase exchange purification (CPEP) approach was also extended to other PFO variants to enrich and functionalize (7,5)-SWCNTs. CPEP purified and functionalized SWCNTs display monodisperse nIR spectra, which are important for fundamental studies and applications that rely on spectral changes. We show this advantage for SWCNT-based nIR fluorescent sensors for the neurotransmitter dopamine and red-shifted sp3 defect peaks . In summary, CPEP makes use of PFO polymers for chirality enrichment but provides access to chirality enriched SWCNTs functionalized in any desired polymer, surfactant or biopolymer.