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Near - infrared (NIR) cellulose nanocrystals (NIR - CNC) for cellular bioimaging

Grant number: 17/22017-3
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2018
Effective date (End): January 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Luiz Henrique Capparelli Mattoso
Grantee:Raja Sebastian
Supervisor abroad: Antonio Sechi
Home Institution: Embrapa Instrumentação Agropecuária. Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA). Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (Brasil). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : RWTH Aachen University, Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:15/00094-0 - Chemical modifications of cellulose nanowhiskers, BP.PD


Nanomaterials are an intriguing class of highly tunable nanoscale objects and received remarkable attention in therapeutic and theranostic applications. Cellulose nanocrystals (CNC), is a unique and promising natural material extracted from native cellulose by acid hydrolysis of native cellulose. Moreover, special surface chemistry, low toxicological risk, negligible inflammatory response, and the ability to penetrate cells make CNC a promising candidate for biomedical applications. In this context, nanocellulose-based imaging probes have received considerable attention in recente years. However, CNC with near-infrared (NIR) probes have not been reported to date ensuring that there is still a long way for practical application of fluorescent CNC in chemical biology and nanoscience and nanotechnology. Higher tissue penetration, lower biological auto-fluorescence and reduced light scattering have greatly increased the interest of near-infrared (NIR) (750-1400 nm) fluorescent probes in recent years. Common limitations of these probes are dye aggregation, low solubility in water and undesired changes in the photophysical properties. Meanwhile, only a limited number of NIR dyes are readily available, most of them being not easily functionalized and too expensive. In order to overcome these limitations, this project will be centred on the development of near-infrared (NIR) cellulose nanocrystals (NIR-CNC). NIR-CNC will be fabricated via the covalent functionalization of water-soluble perylenediimide (PDI) based near-infrared (NIR) dyes on the surface of the CNC. In addition to the synthesis and characterization of these nanomaterials with FT-IR, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), we will perform bioimaging application with mouse macrophages (J774.A1) and fibroblast cell lines. This study will be based on confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), live cell imaging and total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy and will take full advantage of the expertise of the group of Prof. M. Zenke and Dr. A. Sechi, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, Germany. (AU)