A new approach to intracellular detection and imaging of metabolic processes and pathways is presented that uses surface plasmon resonance to enhance interactions between photon-absorbing metabolites and metal nanoparticles in contact with cells in vitro or in vivo. Photon absorption in the nanoparticles creates plasmon fields, enhancing intrinsic metabolite fluorescence, thereby increasing absorption and emission rates, creating new spectral emission bands, shortening fluorescence lifetimes, becoming more photo-stable and increasing fluorescent resonance energy transfer efficiency. Because the cells remain viable, it is proposed that the method may be used to interrogate cells prior to and after irradiation, with the potential for automated analyses of intracellular interactive pathways associated with radiation exposures at lower doses than existing technologies. The design and concepts of the instrument are presented along with data for unexposed cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health