477958 Interaction of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes with Photosynthetic Systems

Monday, November 14, 2016
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Nils Schurgers, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

For years, the distinctive optical and structural properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have inspired the development of promising applications in the field of cell nanobiotechnology(1, 2). In particular, the synergistic interaction with photosynthetic organisms has attracted an increasing level of attention due to the potential of engineered nanoparticles to enhance the native performance of biological systems, paving the way for novel, renewable, and low cost solutions for light-harvesting, energy conversion and subcellular sensing(3, 4).

So far, major studies have largely focused on enabling cellular uptake of SWCNTs by engineering the SWCNT surface through non-covalent side-wall functionalization. Non-covalent functionalization with a rich variety of biomolecules and polymers has been shown to potentially increase SWCNT solubility and membrane translocation while endowing these nanostructures with enhanced biocompatibility(5).

Most recently, this platform has been successfully applied to intact chloroplasts to augment their photosynthetic capability and improve stability against reactive oxygen species(6). Our work builds on these empirical findings to gain an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of the underlying interaction on a molecular level. We performed a systematic investigation of the effect of SWCNT functionalization on membrane penetration properties using a novel biological host. The results of this study offer great promise for the development of a new generation of light-harvesting nanobionic devices.



1. A. A. Boghossian et al., Near-infrared fluorescent sensors based on single-walled carbon nanotubes for life sciences applications. ChemSusChem. 4, 848–63 (2011).

2. S. F. Oliveira et al., Protein functionalized carbon nanomaterials for biomedical applications. Carbon N. Y. 95, 767–779 (2015).

3. M. F. Serag, N. Kaji, S. Habuchi, A. Bianco, Y. Baba, Nanobiotechnology meets plant cell biology: carbon nanotubes as organelle targeting nanocarriers. RSC Adv. 3, 4856 (2013).

4. M. D. Lambreva et al., Potential of carbon nanotubes in algal biotechnology. Photosynth. Res. 125, 451–471 (2015).

5. S. Vardharajula et al., Functionalized carbon nanotubes: biomedical applications. Int. J. Nanomedicine. 7, 5361–74 (2012).

6. J. P. Giraldo et al., Plant nanobionics approach to augment photosynthesis and biochemical sensing. Nat. Mater. 13, 400–8 (2014).

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