12 March 2015 Fluorescent nanoparticle interactions with biological systems: What have we learned so far?
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Fluorescent nanoparticles (NPs) are promising optical probes for biological and biomedical applications, thanks to their excellent photophysical properties, color tunability and facile bioconjugation. It still remains unclear, however, how fluorescent NPs behave in the complex biological environment. Our group has quantified interactions of different fluorescent NPs (i.e., semiconductor quantum dots and metal nanoclusters) with serum proteins and living cells by the combined use of different spectroscopic and microscopic techniques. Our studies show that (1) interactions with proteins may significantly alter the photophysical properties of the NPs as well as the responses of cells internalizing them; (2) protein surface charge distributions play an important role in the interactions of NPs with proteins and cells; (3) ultrasmall NPs (diameter less than 10 nm) show a cellular internalization behavior that is distinctly different from the one observed with larger particles (diameter ~100 nm).
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Li Shang, Li Shang, Gerd Ulrich Nienhaus, Gerd Ulrich Nienhaus, "Fluorescent nanoparticle interactions with biological systems: What have we learned so far?", Proc. SPIE 9338, Colloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications X, 93380M (12 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2075722; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2075722

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