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Near-Infrared Fluorescence Microscopy of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Phagocytic Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 08.12.2004 by Paul Cherukuri, Sergei M. Bachilo, Silvio H. Litovsky, R. Bruce Weisman
The uptake of pristine single-walled carbon nanotubes into macrophage-like cells has been studied using the nanotubes' intrinsic near-infrared fluorescence. Macrophage samples that have been incubated in growth media containing suspended single-walled nanotubes show characteristic nanotube fluorescence spectra. The fluorescence intensities increase smoothly with incubation time and external nanotube concentration. Near-infrared fluorescence microscopy at wavelengths above 1100 nm provides high contrast images indicating localization of nanotubes in numerous intracellular vesicles. Nanotube uptake appears to occur through phagocytosis. Population growth of macrophage cultures is unaffected by exposure to single-walled nanotube concentrations of ca. 4 μg/mL for up to 96 h.