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Plasmonic–Magnetic Active Nanorheology for Intracellular Viscosity

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-01-25, 13:47 authored by Sungwoo Lee, Insub Jung, Soohyun Lee, Junghyun Shin, Eunbyeol Cho, Sangbaek Jung, Seongkeun Ih, Yang-Gyun Kim, Seunghun Hong, Yoon-La Choi, Sungho Park
We demonstrate active plasmonic systems where plasmonic signals are repeatedly modulated by changing the orientation of nanoprobes under an external magnetic field, which is a prerequisite for in situ active nanorheology in intracellular viscosity measurements. Au/Ni/Au nanorods act as “nanotransmitters”, which transmit the mechanical motion of nanorods to an electromagnetic radiation signal as a periodic sine function. This fluctuating optical response is transduced to frequency peaks via Fourier transform surface plasmon resonance (FTSPR). As a driving frequency of the external magnetic field applied to the Au/Ni/Au nanorods increases and reaches above a critical threshold, there is a transition from the synchronous motion of nanorods to asynchronous responses, leading to the disappearance of the FTSPR peak, which allows us to measure the local viscosity of the complex fluids. Using this ensemble-based method with plasmonic functional nanomaterials, we measure the intracellular viscosity of cancer cells and normal cells in a reliable and reproducible manner.