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Functionalized Buckyballs for Visualizing Microbial Species in Different States and Environments.

Scientific reports (2015-09-09)
Qingsu Cheng, Ashwin Aravind, Matthew Buckley, Andrew Gifford, Bahram Parvin
ABSTRACT

To date, in situ visualization of microbial density has remained an open problem. Here, functionalized buckyballs (e.g., C60-pyrrolidine tris acid) are shown to be a versatile platform that allows internalization within a microorganism without either adhering to the cell wall and cell membrane or binding to a matrix substrate such as soil. These molecular probes are validated via multi-scale imaging, to show association with microorganisms via fluorescence microscopy, positive cellular uptake via electron microscopy, and non-specific binding to the substrates through a combination of fluorescence and autoradiography imaging. We also demonstrate that cysteine-functionalized C60-pyrrolidine tris acid can differentiate live and dead microorganisms.

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