(652d) Probing Sub-Cellular Organelle Contents with Carbon Nanotube Optical Reporters
The optical properties of non-covalently dispersed single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNTs) are well-suited for biological imaging and sensing applications due to intrinsic, photostable, and environmentally-sensitive photoluminescence in the near-infrared region. Appropriately functionalized nanotubes enter live cells and remain in the endolysosomal pathway. Here, we show that certain polymer-nanotube complexes can detect abnormal accumulations of lysosomal lipids in live cells, indicative of a family of diseases known as lysosomal storage disorders. Further, we show that the readout of the nanotube optical reporter is reversible in nature, and can be used to monitor the regression of disease upon pharmacological treatment.