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Nanocrystals reveal activity within cells
Date:6/16/2009

imes more efficient than traditional dyes," said Schuck. "No probe with ideal single-molecule imaging properties had been identified to dateour results show a single nanocrystal is stable and bright enough that you can go out to lunch, come back, and the intensity remains constant."

To study how these probes might behave in a real biological system, the Molecular Foundry team incubated the nanocrystals with embryonic mouse fibroblasts, cells crucial to the development of connective tissue, allowing the nanocrystals to be taken up into the interior of the cell. Live-cell imaging using the same near-infrared laser showed similarly strong luminescence from the nanocrystals within the mouse cell, without any measurable background signal.

"While these types of particles have existed in one form or another for some time, our discovery of the unprecedented 'single-molecule' properties these individual nanocrystals possess opens a wide range of applications that were previously inaccessible," Schuck adds.


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Contact: Aditi Risbud
ASRisbud@lbl.gov
510-486-4861
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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