Spatiotemporal visualization of subcellular dynamics of carbon nanotubes

Maged F. Serag, Kevin Braeckmans, Satoshi Habuchi, Noritada Kaji, Alberto Bianco, Yoshinobu Baba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


To date, there is no consensus on the relationship between the physicochemical characteristics of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and their biological behavior; however, there is growing evidence that the versatile characteristics make their biological fate largely unpredictable and remain an issue of limited knowledge. Here we introduce an experimental methodology for tracking and visualization of postuptake behavior and the intracellular fate of CNTs based on the spatial distribution of diffusion values throughout the plant cell. By using raster scan image correlation spectroscopy (RICS), we were able to generate highly quantitative spatial maps of CNTs diffusion in different cell compartments. The spatial map of diffusion values revealed that the uptake of CNTs is associated with important subcellular events such as carrier-mediated vacuolar transport and autophagy. These results show that RICS is a useful methodology to elucidate the intracellular behavior mechanisms of carbon nanotubes and potentially other fluorescently labeled nanoparticles, which is of relevance for the important issues related to the environmental impact and health hazards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6145-6151
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 12 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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