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Mitigation of Carbon Nanotube Neurosensor Induced Transcriptomic and Morphological Changes in Mouse Microglia with Surface Passivation

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journal contribution
posted on 25.09.2020, 20:05 by Darwin Yang, Sarah J. Yang, Jackson Travis Del Bonis-O’Donnell, Rebecca L. Pinals, Markita P. Landry
Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) are used in neuroscience for deep-brain imaging, neuron activity recording, measuring brain morphology, and imaging neuromodulation. However, the extent to which SWCNT-based probes impact brain tissue is not well understood. Here, we study the impact of (GT)6-SWCNT dopamine nanosensors on SIM-A9 mouse microglial cells and show SWCNT-induced morphological and transcriptomic changes in these brain immune cells. Next, we introduce a strategy to passivate (GT)6-SWCNT nanosensors with PEGylated phospholipids to improve both biocompatibility and dopamine imaging quality. We apply these passivated dopamine nanosensors to image electrically stimulated striatal dopamine release in acute mouse brain slices, and show that slices labeled with passivated nanosensors exhibit higher fluorescence response to dopamine and measure more putative dopamine release sites. Hence, this facile modification to SWCNT-based dopamine probes provides immediate improvements to both biocompatibility and dopamine imaging functionality with an approach that is readily translatable to other SWCNT-based neurotechnologies.