Non-Destructive Detection of Metabolites in Live Cells Using Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes

Wednesday, 27 May 2015
Salon C (Hilton Chicago)
T. V. Galassi (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University), P. V. Jena, D. Roxbury, J. Budhathoki-Uprety (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center), C. Horoszko, and D. A. Heller (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical College)
Proper transport, storage and degradation of macromolecules in cells is vital to their function. Cells and organisms that are unable to properly carry out these processes may exhibit deleterious phenotypes such as impaired endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondrial function. Currently, very few therapies exist for the treatment of such disorders due, in part, to the challenge of detecting the amounts of specific metabolites present within live cells. As such, this work aims to develop a tool with the ability to detect cellular metabolites in a non-destructive, reversible manner in live cells and animals. To achieve this goal, an optical reporter was engineered using single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). SWCNTs are ideal biomaterials for the engineering of optical probes due to their fluorescence in the near infrared region of the spectrum, lack of photo bleaching, and large Stokes shift. The microenvironment of nanotubes has also been shown to modulate their near infrared fluorescence. In this work, we develop an optical reporter capable of detecting cellular metabolites and demonstrate its use in multiple cell types. Future work will focus on the characterization and validation of our optical reporter, as well as exhibiting its in vivo potential.