News

Alessandra presents a talk at NT19

© 2019 EPFL

© 2019 EPFL

Alessandra Antonucci will be presenting the talk "Real‐Time Near‐Infrared Confocal Imaging of Bacterial Cell Division in the Presence of Single‐Walled Carbon Nanotubes" at the NT19 conference in Würzburg, Germany on the Wednesday 24th of June.

The chemical and optical properties of single‐walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have inspired a plethora of different applications in the field of cell nanobiotechnology. How‐ ever, most studies have focused on interfacing SWCNTs with cells of eukaryotic organisms. Herein we present a first comprehensive study focusing on the interaction of SWCNTs with bacterial cells. We identify wrappings that facilitate nanoparticle uptake over the bacterial cell wall, an important first step towards the expansion of nanomaterials’ application in the broad field of microbiology. We used a custom‐built, spinning disc confocal microscope to image near‐infrared (NIR) SWCNT fluorescence within the cells. By performing in situ cell growth and nanoparticle tracking we investigated the fate of internalized SWCNTs upon multiple cell division events. Real‐time monitoring revealed that the indefinitely photostable NIR fluorescence is inherited by daughter cells. The imparted NIR fluorescence offers an unprecedented avenue for quantitative and continuous imaging of nanobioengineered cells across multiple generations. Beyond bacterial nanobionics, this technique creates new op‐ portunities for imaging subcellular targeting and trafficking of NIR‐fluorescent probes in the field of drug delivery and biosensing.