Proceedings PaperDirect imaging the subcellular localization of single-walled carbon nanotubes
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The development of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) for various biomedical applications is an area of great promise. However, the contradictory data on the interaction of single-walled carbon nanotubes with cells highlight the need to study their uptake and cytotoxic effects in cells. Here, we use confocal microscopy to image the translocation of single-walled carbon nanotubes into cells and localization on the subcellular organelle. We also observe that single-walled carbon nanotubes do not affect the cellular condition and mitochondrial membrane potential. One intrinsic property of single-walled carbon nanotubes is their strong optical absorbance in the near-infrared (NIR) region. It could be used to selectively increase the thermal destructions in the target tumors. A specific type of SWNT by the CoMoCAT method has an intense absorption band at 980 nm. When irradiated with a 980-nm laser, the single-walled carbon nanotubes affect the cellular oxidation and destroy the mitochondrial membrane potential, and induce cell apoptosis. Thus, the single-walled carbon nanotubes appear to enter the cytoplasm without cytotoxic effects in cells, and can be used as effective and selective nanomaterials for cancer photothermal therapy.