Probing the intracellular fate of supramolecular nanocarriers and their cargo with FRET schemes

J Callan, Bridgeen Callan, Colin Fowley, Ek Raj Thapaliya, S.C Tang, Y Zhang, Francisco Raymo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

We designed a strategy to monitor self-assembling supramolecular nanocarriers and their cargo simultaneously in the intracellular space with fluorescence measurements. It is based on Forster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between complementary chromophores covalently integrated in the macromolecular backbone of amphiphilic polymers and/or noncovalently encapsulated in supramolecular assemblies of the amphiphilic components. Indeed, these polymers assemble into a micelles in aqueous phase to bring energy donors and acceptors in close proximity and allow energy transfer. The resulting supramolecular assemblies maintain their integrity after travelling into the intracellular space and do not lose their molecular guests in the process. Furthermore, this mechanism can also be exploited to probe the fate of complementary nanoparticles introduced within cells in consecutive incubation steps. Efficient energy transfer occurs in the intracellular space after the sequential incubation of nanocarriers incorporating donors first and then nanoparticles containing acceptors or vice versa. The two sets of nanostructured assemblies ultimately co-localize in the cell interior to bring donors and acceptors together and enable energy transfer. Thus, this protocol is particularly valuable to monitor the transport properties of supramolecular nanocarriers inside living cells and can eventually contribute to the fundamental understating of the ability of these promising vehicles to deliver contrast agents and/or drugs intracellularly in view of possible diagnostics and/or therapeutic applications
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCOLLOIDAL NANOPARTICLES FOR BIOMEDICAL APPLICATIONS XII. Proceeding of SPIE
PublisherSPIE
PagesUNSP 100781B-UNSP 100781B
Volume10078
ISBN (Print)ISBN-10: 1510605975
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • Amphiphilic polymers
  • nanoparticles
  • self-assembly
  • nanocarriers
  • energy transfer
  • fluorescence imaging

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    Callan, J., Callan, B., Fowley, C., Thapaliya, E. R., Tang, S. C., Zhang, Y., & Raymo, F. (2017). Probing the intracellular fate of supramolecular nanocarriers and their cargo with FRET schemes. In COLLOIDAL NANOPARTICLES FOR BIOMEDICAL APPLICATIONS XII. Proceeding of SPIE (Vol. 10078, pp. UNSP 100781B-UNSP 100781B). SPIE.