Gold nanoparticle-based two-photon fluorescent nanoprobe for monitoring intracellular nitric oxide levels

Carla Arnau del Valle, Paul Thomas, Francisco Galindo, Maria Paz Munoz-Herranz, Maria Jose Marin (Lead Author)

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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Nitric oxide (NO) plays an important role in the regulation of the immune, cardiovascular and nervous systems. Consequently, being able to monitor and quantify intracellular NO levels would provide a greater understanding of the implications of this molecule in the different biological processes, including, for example, in cancer. Here, we report a broadly applicable two-photon excitable fluorescent nanoprobe able to detect and potentially quantify NO levels in an extensive range of cellular environments. The nanoprobe consists of a thiolated photoinduced electron transfer-based two photon fluorescent probe attached onto the surface of 2.4 ± 0.7 nm gold nanoparticles (DANPY-NO@AuNPs). The nanoprobe, which can be synthesised in a reproducible manner and exhibits great stability when stored at room temperature, is able to selectively detect NO in solution, with a dynamic range up to 150 µM, and at pH values of biological relevance. DANPY-NO@AuNPs were able to selectively detect endogenous NO in RAW264.7γ NO- macrophages, THP-1 human leukemic cells; and endogenous and exogenous NO in endothelial cells. The nanoprobe accumulated in the acidic organelles of the tested cell lines showing negligible toxicity. Importantly, DANPY-NO@AuNPs showed potential to quantify intracellular NO concentrations in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. The biological evaluation of the nanoprobe was undertaken using confocal laser scanning (images and intracellular emission spectra) and multiphoton microscopies, and flow cytometry. Based on their excellent sensitivity and stability, and outstanding versatility, DANPY-NO@AuNPs can be applied for the spatiotemporal monitoring of in vitro and in vivo NO levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3387-3396
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry B
Issue number15
Early online date8 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2023

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