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Recombinant Protein Polymers for Colloidal Stabilization and Improvement of Cellular Uptake of Diamond Nanosensors

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journal contribution
posted on 07.11.2017, 00:00 by Tingting Zheng, Felipe Perona Martínez, Ingeborg Maria Storm, Wolf Rombouts, Joris Sprakel, Romana Schirhagl, Renko de Vries
Fluorescent nanodiamonds are gaining increasing attention as fluorescent labels in biology in view of the fact that they are essentially nontoxic, do not bleach, and can be used as nanoscale sensors for various physical and chemical properties. To fully realize the nanosensing potential of nanodiamonds in biological applications, two problems need to be addressed: their limited colloidal stability, especially in the presence of salts, and their limited ability to be taken up by cells. We show that the physical adsorption of a suitably designed recombinant polypeptide can address both the colloidal stability problem and the problem of the limited uptake of nanodiamonds by cells in a very straightforward way, while preserving both their spectroscopic properties and their excellent biocompatibility.