Encapsulation of fluorescent molecules by functionalized polymeric nanocontainers: investigation by confocal fluorescence imaging and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy.

Journal of the American Chemical Society

PubMedID: 16390167

Rigler P, Meier W. Encapsulation of fluorescent molecules by functionalized polymeric nanocontainers: investigation by confocal fluorescence imaging and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. J Am Chem Soc. 2006;128(1):367-73.
Nanocontainers (NCs) were prepared from amphiphilic triblock copolymers, having an average molecular weight of around 8000 g/mol, by using previously published preparation methods consisting of dispersing the polymer in an aqueous buffer solution containing molecules for encapsulation. A small molecular weight fluorophore, sulforhodamine B, as well as the fluorescent protein avidin labeled with Alexa 488 were encapsulated, and the resulting nanocontainers were characterized using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy (FCCS). Nanocontainer size determination by FCS is very robust and compares well with results obtained from photon correlation spectroscopy: the measured diameters of the polymeric nanocontainers vary between 140 and 172 nm. Encapsulation of fluorescent molecules was determined by evaluating the molecular brightness of nanocontainers with an encapsulated fluorescently labeled protein (avidin-Alexa 488). Results indicate that the number of encapsulated avidin-Alexa 488 molecules corresponds well with the initial concentration of the fluorescently labeled protein and the encapsulated volume. A nanocontainer binding assay was developed using biotinylated fluorescently labeled nanocontainers. Binding of biotinylated nanocontainers to fluorescently labeled streptavidin was followed by fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy. The intrinsic dissociation constant, K(d), of labeled streptavidin to the ligand-modified nanocontainers is 1.7 +/- 0.4 x 10(-8) M, and about 1921 +/- 357 molecules of labeled streptavidin are bound to each nanocontainer.