Carbon nanotube-tipped endoscope for in situ intracellular surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy.
ABSTRACT Gold nanoparticle-decorated carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are used to study intracellular environments in situ using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). CNTs are decorated with gold nanoparticles and assembled onto the tips of pulled glass capillaries to form a SERS-enabled endoscope. The sub-micrometer size and high mechanical strength of the endoscope make it possible to penetrate the cell membrane for intracellular probing and remain positioned inside during lengthy SERS measurements without causing damage to the cell. Using the SERS-enabled endoscope, DNA and other biomolecules are detected in situ within the nucleus of a single human cervical carcinoma cell in a minimally invasive manner. The SERS-enabled endoscopes exhibit high selectivity and sensitivity for detecting trace amounts of analytes (≈1 pM) in biofluid environments, highlighting their capabilities as label-free, biological sensors for real-time in situ cellular diagnostics, biological detection, and pharmaceutical research.
Article: Physiological validation of cell health upon probing with carbon nanotube endoscope and its benefit for single-cell interrogation.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: New-generation nanoscale devices for single-cell study are intensively being developed. As has been shown, nanodevices are minimally invasive because of their order-of-magnitude smaller size in comparison to conventional glass pipettes. However, in most studies the evaluation of the nanodevice impact on cell health has not extended to their effects on cell metabolic integrity. In this work we evaluated the degree to which the insertion of a carbon-based nanotube endoscope into a cell induces mechanical and biochemical stress, and affects cellular key metabolic systems. The effects of insertion of the nanotube endoscope on cell morphological and physiological modulations were monitored and compared to those of glass micropipettes. We report that nanotube endoscope insertion does not significantly modulate the plasma membrane and actin network. The cell metabolic mechanisms such as energy production and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-dependent calcium signaling remain preserved for prolonged endoscope presence within a cell. FROM THE CLINICAL EDITOR: In this basic science study, the effects of insertion of carbon nanotube endoscope on cell morphological and physiological modulations were monitored and compared to those of glass micropipettes. Nanotube endoscope insertion is truly minimally invasive: it does not significantly modulate the plasma membrane and actin network; the energy production and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-dependent calcium signaling also remain preserved during prolonged endoscope presence within a cell.Nanomedicine: nanotechnology, biology, and medicine 08/2011; 8(5):590-8. · 5.44 Impact Factor