Understanding the chemical composition of biofilm matrices is vital in different fields of biology such as surgery, dental medicine, synthetic grafts and bioremediation. The knowledge of biofilm development, composition, active reduction sites and remediation efficacy will help in the development of effective solutions and evaluation of remediating approaches prior to implementation. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) based imaging is an invaluable tool to obtain an understanding of the remediating efficacy of microorganisms and its role in the formation of organic and inorganic compounds in biofilms. We demonstrate for the first time, the presence of chromate, sulfate, nitrate and reduced trivalent chromium in soil biofilms. In addition, we demonstrate that SERS imaging was able to validate two observations made by previous studies on chromate/sulfate and chromate/nitrate interactions in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 biofilms. Additionally, we show a detailed Raman mapping based evidence of the existence of chromate-sulfate competition for cellular entry. Subsequently, we use Raman mapping to study the effect of nitrate on chromate reduction. The findings presented in this paper are among the first to report- detection of multiple metallic ions in bacterial biofilms using intracellular SERS substrates. Such a detailed characterization of biofilms using gold nanoislands based SERS mapping substrate can be extended to study cellular localization of other metallic ions and chemical species of biological and toxicological significance and their effect on reduction reactions in bacterial biofilms.
Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS); Chemical Imaging; Hexavalent Chromate; Sulfate; Nitrate; Bioremediation; Shewanella oneidensis MR-1
Gold nanoprobes have become attractive diagnostic and therapeutic agents in medicine and life sciences research owing to their reproducible synthesis with atomic level precision, unique physical and chemical properties, versatility of their morphologies, flexibility in functionalization, ease of targeting, efficiency in drug delivery and opportunities for multimodal therapy. This review highlights some of the recent advances and the potential for gold nanoprobes in theranostics.
diagnostics; gold nanoparticles; imaging; therapeutics; toxicity
Infections due to enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (Escherichia coli) have a low incidence but can have severe and sometimes fatal health consequences, and thus represent some of the most serious diseases due to the contamination of water and food. New, fast and simple devices that monitor these pathogens are necessary to improve the safety of our food supply chain. In this work we report on mesoporous titania thin-film substrates as sensors to detect E. coli O157:H7. Titania films treated with APTES ((3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane) and GA (glutaraldehyde) were functionalized with specific antibodies and the absorption properties monitored. The film-based biosensors showed a detection limit for E. coli of 1 × 102 CFU/mL, constituting a simple and selective method for the effective screening of water samples.
biosensors; E. coli; FTIR spectroscopy; foodborne pathogens; nanomaterials
Imagingon act live molecular events within micro-organisms at single cell resolution would deliver valuable mechanistic information much needed in understanding key biological processes. We present a surface-enhanced Raman (SERS) chemical imaging strategy as a first step towards exploring the intracellular bioreduction pockets of toxic chromate in Shewanella. In order to achieve this, we take advantage of an innate reductive mechanism in bacteria of reducing gold ions into intracellular gold nanoislands which provide the necessary enhancement for SERS imaging. We show that SERS has the sensitivity and selectivity not only to identify, but also to differentiate between the two stable valence forms of chromate in cells. The imaging platform was used to understand intracellular metal reductiivities in a ubiquitous metal-reducing organism Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, by mapping Chromate reduction.
Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy; Shewanella oneidensis MR-1; Single Cell Raman Imaging; Hexavalent Chromate; Bioremediation
Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) activates the innate immune system in response to oligonucleotides rich in CpG whereas DNA lacking CpG could inhibit its activation. However, the mechanism of how TLR9 interacts with nucleic acid and becomes activated in live cells is not well understood. Here, we report on the successful implementation of single molecule tools, constituting fluorescence correlation/cross-correlation spectroscopy (FCS and FCCS) and photon count histogram (PCH) with fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) to study the interaction of TLR9-GFP with Cy5 labeled oligonucleotide containing CpG or lacking CpG in live HEK 293 cells. Our findings show that i) TLR9 predominantly forms homodimers (80%) before binding to a ligand and further addition of CpG or non CpG DNA does not necessarily increase the proportion of TLR9 dimers, ii) CpG DNA has a lower dissociation constant (62 nM±9 nM) compared to non CpG DNA (153 nM±26 nM) upon binding to TLR9, suggesting that a motif specific binding affinity of TLR9 could be an important factor in instituting a conformational change-dependant activation, and iii) both CpG and non CpG DNA binds to TLR9 with a 1∶2 stoichiometry in vivo. Collectively, through our findings we establish an in vivo model of TLR9 binding and activation by CpG DNA using single molecule fluorescence techniques for single cell studies.
This proposed research aims to use novel nanoparticle sensors and spectroscopic tools constituting surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and Fluorescence Lifetime imaging (FLIM) to study intracellular chemical activities within single bioremediating microorganism. The grand challenge is to develop a mechanistic understanding of chromate reduction and localization by the remediating bacterium Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 by chemical and lifetime imaging. MR-1 has attracted wide interest from the research community because of its potential in reducing multiple chemical and metallic electron acceptors. While several biomolecular approaches to decode microbial reduction mechanisms exist, there is a considerable gap in the availability of sensor platforms to advance research from population-based studies to the single cell level. This study is one of the first attempts to incorporate SERS imaging to address this gap. First, we demonstrate that chromate-decorated nanoparticles can be taken up by cells using TEM and Fluorescence Lifetime imaging to confirm the internalization of gold nanoprobes. Second, we demonstrate the utility of a Raman chemical imaging platform to monitor chromate reduction and localization within single cells. Distinctive differences in Raman signatures of Cr(VI) and Cr(III) enabled their spatial identification within single cells from the Raman images. A comprehensive evaluation of toxicity and cellular interference experiments conducted revealed the inert nature of these probes and that they are non-toxic. Our results strongly suggest the existence of internal reductive machinery and that reduction occurs at specific sites within cells instead of at disperse reductive sites throughout the cell as previously reported. While chromate-decorated gold nanosensors used in this study provide an improved means for the tracking of specific chromate interactions within the cell and on the cell surface, we expect our single cell imaging tools to be extended to monitor the interaction of other toxic metal species.
We demonstrate a surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) based array platform to monitor gene expression in cancer cells in a multiplex and quantitative format without amplification steps. A strategy comprising of DNA/RNA hybridization, S1 nuclease digestion, and alkaline hydrolysis was adopted to obtain DNA targets specific to two splice junction variants Δ(9, 10) and Δ(5) of the breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1) from MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines. These two targets were identified simultaneously and their absolute quantities were estimated by a SERS strategy utilizing the inherent plasmon-phonon Raman mode of gold nanoparticle probes as a self-referencing standard to correct for variability in surface enhancement. Results were then validated by reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR). Our proposed methodology could be expanded to a higher level of multiplexing for quantitative gene expression analysis of any gene without any amplification steps.
Quantification; multiplex detection; SERS; splice variants
To provide rapid and accurate detection of DNA markers in a straightforward, inexpensive and multiplex format, an alternative surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) based probe was designed and fabricated to covalently attach both DNA probing sequence and non-fluorescent Raman tags to the surface of gold nanoparticles (DNA-AuP-RTag). The intensity of Raman signal of the probes could be controlled through the surface coverage of the non-fluorescent Raman tags (RTags). Detection sensitivity of these probes could be optimized by fine-tuning the amount of DNA molecules and RTags on the probes. Long-term stability of the DNA-AuP-RTag probes was found to be good (over 3 months). Excellent multiplexing capability of the DNA-AuP-RTag scheme was demonstrated by simultaneous identification of up to eight probes in a mixture. Detection of hybridization of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) to its complementary targets was successfully accomplished with a long-term goal to use non-fluorescent RTags in a Raman-based DNA microarray platform.
DNA-AuP-RTag probes; non-fluorescent Raman tags; multiplex detection; SERS
Magnetic and gold coated magnetic nanoparticles were synthesized by co-precipitation of ferrous and ferric chlorides, and by the micromicelles method, respectively. Synthesized nanoparticles were functionalized to bear carboxyl and amino acid moieties and used as prion protein carriers after carbodiimide activation in the presence of N-hydroxysuccinimide. The binding of human recombinant prion protein (huPrPrec) to the surface of these nanoparticles was confirmed by FTIR and the size and structures of the particles were characterized by transmission electron microscopy. Findings indicate that the rate of prion binding increased only slightly when the concentration of prion in the reaction medium was increased. Rate constants of binding were very similar on Fe3O4@Au and Fe3O4-LAA when the concentrations of protein were 1, 2, 1.5, 2.25 and 3.57 μg/ml. For a 5 μg/ml concentration of huPrPrec the binding rate constant was higher for the Fe3O4-LAA particles. This study paves the way towards the formation of prion protein complexes onto a 3-dimensional structure that could reveal obscure physiological and pathological structure and prion protein kinetics.
Magnetic nanoparticles have been significantly used for coupling with biomolecules, due to their unique properties.
Magnetic nanoparticles were synthesized by thermal co-precipitation of ferric and ferrous chloride using two different base solutions. Glucose oxidase was bound to the particles by direct attachment via carbodiimide activation or by thiophene acetylation of magnetic nanoparticles. Transmission electron microscopy was used to characterize the size and structure of the particles while the binding of glucose oxidase to the particles was confirmed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.
The direct binding of glucose oxidase via carbodiimide activity was found to be more effective, resulting in bound enzyme efficiencies between 94–100% while thiophene acetylation was 66–72% efficient. Kinetic and stability studies showed that the enzyme activity was more preserved upon binding onto the nanoparticles when subjected to thermal and various pH conditions. The overall activity of glucose oxidase was improved when bound to magnetic nanoparticles
Binding of enzyme onto magnetic nanoparticles via carbodiimide activation is a very efficient method for developing bioconjugates for biological applications
Magnetic nanoparticles (Fe3O4) were synthesized by thermal co-precipitation of ferric and ferrous chlorides. The sizes and structure of the particles were characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The size of the particles was in the range between 9.7 and 56.4 nm. Cholesterol oxidase (CHO) was successfully bound to the particles via carbodiimide activation. FTIR spectroscopy was used to confirm the binding of CHO to the particles. The binding efficiency was between 98 and 100% irrespective of the amount of particles used. Kinetic studies of the free and bound CHO revealed that the stability and activity of the enzyme were significantly improved upon binding to the nanoparticles. Furthermore, the bound enzyme exhibited a better tolerance to pH, temperature and substrate concentration. The activation energy for free and bound CHO was 13.6 and 9.3 kJ/mol, respectively. This indicated that the energy barrier of CHO activity was reduced upon binding onto Fe3O4 nanoparticles. The improvements observed in activity, stability, and functionality of CHO resulted from structural and conformational changes of the bound enzyme. The study indicates that the stability and activity of CHO could be enhanced via attachment to magnetic nanoparticles and subsequently will contribute to better uses of this enzyme in various biological and clinical applications.