Gold nanorods absorb and scatter light strongly in the near-infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum,
making them ideal tissue contrast agents for imaging techniques such as optical coherence tomography (OCT). Strong
interactions occur at the nano-bio interface, such as proteins binding to gold nanorods forming a ‘corona.’ To fulfill the
promise of nanorods for applications such as contrast agents, we must better understand the intrinsic interactions of these
nanomaterials with biological systems at the molecular, cellular and tissue level. In this paper, we briefly review the
nanorod-protein interface. We then present some new fast relaxation imaging (FReI) measurements of how the presence
of strongly-absorbing gold nanorods affects protein binding and folding, taking into account inner filter effects and the
strong quenching effect of nanorods on fluorescent-labeled proteins. Next we show that two-photon photoluminescence of
the gold nanorods can be used to image the nanorods in tissue constructs, allowing us to independently study their tissue
distribution so they can be used successfully as contrast agents in optical coherence microscopy.
Keywords: Fluorescence spectroscopy, Nanoparticle, Protein folding, Tissue engineering, Two photon microscopy, Green
fluorescent protein, Optical coherence tomography, Nanorod, Temperature jump, Fast relaxation imaging, Kinetics.
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Published on: 31 March, 2013
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