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Functionalized Cellulose Nanocrystals for Cellular Labeling and Bioimaging

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journal contribution
posted on 07.12.2020, 16:37 by Sebastian Raja, Ahmed E. I. Hamouda, Marcelo A. S. de Toledo, Chaolei Hu, Marcela P. Bernardo, Carmen Schalla, Liliane S. F. Leite, Eva Miriam Buhl, Stephan Dreschers, Andrij Pich, Martin Zenke, Luiz H. C. Mattoso, Antonio Sechi
Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are unique and promising natural nanomaterials that can be extracted from native cellulose fibers by acid hydrolysis. In this study, we developed chemically modified CNC derivatives by covalent tethering of PEGylated biotin and perylenediimide (PDI)-based near-infrared organic dye and evaluated their suitability for labeling and imaging of different cell lines including J774A.1 macrophages, NIH-3T3 fibroblasts, HeLa adenocarcinoma cells, and primary murine dendritic cells. PDI-labeled CNCs showed a superior photostability compared to similar commercially available dyes under long periods of constant and high-intensity illumination. All CNC derivatives displayed excellent cytocompatibility toward all cell types and efficiently labeled cells in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, CNCs were effectively internalized and localized in the cytoplasm around perinuclear areas. Thus, our findings demonstrate the suitability of these new CNC derivatives for labeling, imaging, and long-time tracking of a variety of cell lines and primary cells.