Spatiotemporal visualization of subcellular dynamics of carbon nanotubes

Maged F. Serag, Kevin Braeckmans, Satoshi Habuchi, Noritada Kaji, Alberto Bianco, Yoshinobu Baba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


To date, there is no consensus on the relationship between the physicochemical characteristics of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and their biological behavior; however, there is growing evidence that the versatile characteristics make their biological fate largely unpredictable and remain an issue of limited knowledge. Here we introduce an experimental methodology for tracking and visualization of postuptake behavior and the intracellular fate of CNTs based on the spatial distribution of diffusion values throughout the plant cell. By using raster scan image correlation spectroscopy (RICS), we were able to generate highly quantitative spatial maps of CNTs diffusion in different cell compartments. The spatial map of diffusion values revealed that the uptake of CNTs is associated with important subcellular events such as carrier-mediated vacuolar transport and autophagy. These results show that RICS is a useful methodology to elucidate the intracellular behavior mechanisms of carbon nanotubes and potentially other fluorescently labeled nanoparticles, which is of relevance for the important issues related to the environmental impact and health hazards. © 2012 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6145-6151
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 28 2012

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was partly supported by Nanotechnology Platform Program (Molecule and Material Synthesis) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan. This research was partly supported by the Industrial Technology Research Grant Program from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) through its "Funding Program for World-Leading Innovative R&D on Science and Technology (FIRST Program)". M.F.S. wishes to extend a sincere gratitude to Prof. Jason R. Dwyer at University of Rhode Island (USA) for his valuable contributions during writing the manuscript. A.B. wishes to thank CNRS and JSPS for the invited fellowship in the framework of the Invitation Fellowship Program for Research in Japan (ID No. S-12072). The authors wish to thank Prof. Marcel Ameloot and Dr. Ben De Clercq at Hasselt University (Belgium) and Dr. Frederic Gros at University of Strasbourg (France) for helpful discussions and comments. The fluorescence data were analyzed using the Globals software package developed at the Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The experimental work and data analysis were done in the Department of Applied Chemistry, Nagoya University, Japan.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Chemistry
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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