Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Publication Source

Journal of Nanobiotechnology

Abstract

Background: Nanoparticles have emerged as key materials for developing applications in nanomedicine, nanobiotechnology, bioimaging and theranostics. Existing bioimaging technologies include bioluminescent resonance energy transfer-conjugated quantum dots (BRET-QDs). Despite the current use of BRET-QDs for bioimaging, there are strong concerns about QD nanocomposites containing cadmium which exhibits potential cellular toxicity.

Results: In this study, bioluminescent composites comprised of magnetic nanoparticles and firefly luciferase (Photinus pyralis) are examined as potential light-emitting agents for imaging, detection, and tracking mammalian spermatozoa. Characterization was carried out using infrared spectroscopy, TEM and cryo-TEM imaging, and ζ-potential measurements to demonstrate the successful preparation of these nanocomposites. Binding interactions between the synthesized nanoparticles and spermatozoon were characterized using confocal and atomic/magnetic force microscopy. Bioluminescence imaging and UV–visible-NIR microscopy results showed light emission from sperm samples incubated with the firefly luciferase-modified nanoparticles. Therefore, these newly synthesized luciferase-modified magnetic nanoparticles show promise as substitutes for QD labeling, and can potentially also be used for in vivo manipulation and tracking, as well as MRI techniques.

Conclusions: These preliminary data indicate that luciferase-magnetic nanoparticle composites can potentially be used for spermatozoa detection and imaging. Their magnetic properties add additional functionality to allow for manipulation, sorting, or tracking of cells using magnetic techniques.

ISBN/ISSN

1477-3155

Document Version

Published Version

Comments

This work has been funded by the National Science Foundation (EPS-0903787; IIA-1430364), the Office of Research and Economic Development at Mississippi State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (#58-6402-3-018).

Publisher

BioMed Central

Volume

14

Issue

20

Peer Reviewed

yes

Keywords

Spermatozoa, Bioluminescence Imaging, Magnetic nanoparticles, Nanocomposites, Reproduction, Core–shell nanoparticles, Luciferase