Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.141, No.30, 11938-11946, 2019
Fractal Nanoplasmonic Labels for Supermultiplex Imaging in Single Cells
The rapidly increasing need for systems biology stimulates the development of supermultiplex (SM) methods for simultaneously labeling multiple biomolecules/cells with distinct colors. Here we report the development of DNA-engineered fractal nanoplasmonic labels with ultrahigh brightness and photostability for SM imaging in single cells. These color-resolvable nanoplasmonic labels have a uniform size of similar to 50 nm with an inner hollow gap of similar to 1 nm. The outer shell morphology is highly tunable with the tip aspect ratio covering the range of delta = 0.29-1.66, which supports SM plasmonic imaging exceeding the conventional fluorescence multiplexing limit. We demonstrate the use of these SM labels for quantitative imaging of receptor-mediated endocytosis and intracellular transport of multiple protein-NP structures in a single cell in real time. This SM-plasmonic method sheds light on elucidating complex interactions among protein-NPs in nanotoxicology and facilitates the development of novel nanomedicines for diagnosis and therapy.