The adverse health effects of particulate matter exposure are a generally accepted concern. Dramatic statistical figures suggest that fine dust is a main environmental risk in Europe and can be held accountable for hundreds of thousands of deaths per year . Locating and tracking these nanometer sized particles, however, is not straight forward: In epidemiological and toxicology research only measurements based on labels  such as radionuclide markers have been applied.
In this paper we present a direct, label-free optical contrast mechanism to detect carbon nanoparticles immersed in aqueous environments . The virtue of this technique is its ability to perform in body fluids such as urine but also in cells and tissues. The mechanism is based on white light (WL) generation upon illumination with femtosecond pulsed near-infrared and is therefore non-incandescence related. We demonstrate the technique in various biological settings with dry and suspended carbon black particles (CB), a widely used model compound for soot . Our approach allows for the unequivocal localization of CB alongside of common fluorophores and markers and can be performed on multiphoton laser-scanning microscopy platforms, a system commonly available in research laboratories.
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Christian Steuwe, Hannelore Bové, Martin J. vandeVen, Marcel Ameloot, and Maarten B. J. Roeffaers, "Label-free carbon particulates detection in bio (medical) settings (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10069, Multiphoton Microscopy in the Biomedical Sciences XVII, 100691W (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 01, 2017; Published: 24 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252656.5380060934001.
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