Dark-field light scattering imaging of living cancer cell component from birth through division using bioconjugated gold nanoprobes


Novel methods and technologies that could extend and complement the capabilities of the prevailing fluorescence microscope in following the cell cycle under different perturbations are highly desirable in the area of biological and biomedical imaging. We report a newly designed instrument for long-term light scattering live cell imaging based on integrating a homebuilt environmental cell incubation minichamber and an angled dark-field illumination system into a conventional inverted light microscope. Peptide-conjugated gold nanoparticles that are selectively delivered to either the cytoplasmic or nuclear region of the cell are used as light scattering contrast agents. The new system enables us to carry out continuous and intermittence-free dark-field live cell imaging over several tens of hours. A variety of applications of this imaging system are demonstrated, such as monitoring the nuclear uptake of peptide-conjugated gold nanoparticles, tracking the full cycle of cancer cells from birth to division, following the chromosome dynamics during cell mitosis, and observing the intracellular distribution of gold nanoparticles after cell division. We also discuss the overall effect of nuclear targeting gold nanoparticles on the cell viability of parent and daughter cells. © 2010 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.

Publication Title

Journal of Biomedical Optics