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Nat Nanotechnol. 2014 Apr;9(4):311-6. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2014.32. Epub 2014 Mar 16.

Biogenic gas nanostructures as ultrasonic molecular reporters.

Author information

1
1] Miller Research Institute, University of California at Berkeley, 2536 Channing Way, Berkeley, California 94720, USA [2] Department of Bioengineering, 306 Stanley Hall MC #1762, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA [3] Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, 142 LSA #3200, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA [4].
2
Department of Bioengineering, 306 Stanley Hall MC #1762, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
3
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
4
Sunnybrook Research Institute, University of Toronto, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M5, Canada.
5
1] Sunnybrook Research Institute, University of Toronto, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M5, Canada [2] Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, 610 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M5, Canada.
6
1] Department of Bioengineering, 306 Stanley Hall MC #1762, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA [2] Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
7
1] Department of Bioengineering, 306 Stanley Hall MC #1762, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA [2] Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.

Abstract

Ultrasound is among the most widely used non-invasive imaging modalities in biomedicine, but plays a surprisingly small role in molecular imaging due to a lack of suitable molecular reporters on the nanoscale. Here, we introduce a new class of reporters for ultrasound based on genetically encoded gas nanostructures from microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea. Gas vesicles are gas-filled protein-shelled compartments with typical widths of 45-250 nm and lengths of 100-600 nm that exclude water and are permeable to gas. We show that gas vesicles produce stable ultrasound contrast that is readily detected in vitro and in vivo, that their genetically encoded physical properties enable multiple modes of imaging, and that contrast enhancement through aggregation permits their use as molecular biosensors.

Comment in

PMID:
24633522
PMCID:
PMC4023545
DOI:
10.1038/nnano.2014.32
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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