IIT Mandi: Researchers Develop Super Resolution used for Nanoprobe Imaging

Samrat Roy Samrat Roy
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IIT Mandi Researchers have designed bovine serum albumin protein conjugated red emissive gold nanoclusters as an effective fluorescent nanoprobe for lysosome imaging.

The team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, (IIT) Mandi designed gold nanoclusters as an efficient fluorescent nanoprobe for lysosome imaging.

Lysosomes play a significant role in cellular processes out of multiple organelles present in an animal cell.

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A lysosome is a membrane-bound organelle containing digestive enzymes.

Lysosomes act as a cell waste disposal system by digesting obsolete materials in the cytoplasm, by breaking down invasive viruses or bacteria, and by digesting large structures or cellular debris.

The research team is led by Dr. Chayan Nandi, Associate Professor at the School of Basic Sciences at IIT Mandi.

The team includes Dr. Amit Jaiswal, Assistant Professor, School of Basic Sciences, IIT Mandi, and research scholars Mr. Aditya Yadav, Mr. Navneet C. Verma, Mr. Chethana Rao and Mr. Pushpendra M. Mishra.

The results of their work were published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry.

Understanding the functional modalities of lysosomes in living conditions is a very complex phenomenon due to their very small size up to 50-500 nanometres (nm) and the availability of high-end imaging techniques.

The research team took up the challenge of imaging the true size of lysosomes using a super-resolution microscopic imaging technique.

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The main challenge in super-resolution microscopic imaging is to obtain an efficient fluorescent probe which, at the same time, with its inherent optical properties, is capable of imaging the organelle to its actual subnanometer size and also does not damage the cellular structure by having any toxic effect.

Researchers have designed bovine serum albumin protein conjugated red emissive gold nanoclusters as an effective fluorescent nanoprobe for lysosome imaging.

With this approach, the lysosome diameter is obtained as 59 nm, which is very close to the original diameter of the smallest lysosome in the HeLa cells.

HeLa is the oldest and most commonly used cell line of immortal cervical cancer. They have been instrumental in the study of human diseases, especially cancer.

Gold nanoclusters, due to their exciting photoluminescent properties, easy renal clearance from the body, and non-toxic nature, have tremendous biomedical applications.

“Unfortunately, gold nanoclusters have never been explored for super-resolution macroscopic imaging,

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we are the first to report its applicability as a fluorescent probe for single-molecule localization-based microscopic technique”, says Dr. Chayan Nandi.

“Because of its extremely small size, intrinsic fluorescence properties suitable for super-resolution microscopic imaging and the non-toxic nature, the gold nanocluster could be universally used for high-end optical imaging”, he added.

The next step of this research is to make these gold nanoclusters as a universal probe for other multimodal and correlative bioimaging techniques.

"Unfortunately, gold nanoclusters have never been explored for microscopic superresolution imaging,

We are the first to report its applicability as a fluorescent probe for a single-molecular microscopic technique based on location, "says Dr. Chayan Nandi.

"Because of its extremely small size, its inherent fluorescence properties suitable for super-resolution microscopic imaging, and its non-toxic nature, the gold nanocluster could be universally used for high-end optical imaging," he added.

"As a result of its high electronic contrast, the developed nanoclusters, together with the use in super-resolution optical microscopy, could also be used as a transmission and scanning electron microscope probe in a correlated manner, thereby unveiling a vast number of unsolved biological problems in live-cell conditions," says Dr. Chayan Nandi.

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