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Issue 23, 2016
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Imaging of transfection and intracellular release of intact, non-labeled DNA using fluorescent nanodiamonds

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Abstract

Efficient delivery of stabilized nucleic acids (NAs) into cells and release of the NA payload are crucial points in the transfection process. Here we report on the fabrication of a nanoscopic cellular delivery carrier that is additionally combined with a label-free intracellular sensor device, based on biocompatible fluorescent nanodiamond particles. The sensing function is engineered into nanodiamonds by using nitrogen-vacancy color centers, providing stable non-blinking luminescence. The device is used for monitoring NA transfection and the payload release in cells. The unpacking of NAs from a poly(ethyleneimine)-terminated nanodiamond surface is monitored using the color shift of nitrogen-vacancy centers in the diamond, which serve as a nanoscopic electric charge sensor. The proposed device innovates the strategies for NA imaging and delivery, by providing detection of the intracellular release of non-labeled NAs without affecting cellular processing of the NAs. Our system highlights the potential of nanodiamonds to act not merely as labels but also as non-toxic and non-photobleachable fluorescent biosensors reporting complex molecular events.

Graphical abstract: Imaging of transfection and intracellular release of intact, non-labeled DNA using fluorescent nanodiamonds

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Jan 2016, accepted on 12 May 2016 and first published on 13 May 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6NR00610H
Citation: Nanoscale, 2016,8, 12002-12012
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Imaging of transfection and intracellular release of intact, non-labeled DNA using fluorescent nanodiamonds

    V. Petrakova, V. Benson, M. Buncek, A. Fiserova, M. Ledvina, J. Stursa, P. Cigler and M. Nesladek, Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 12002
    DOI: 10.1039/C6NR00610H

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