StickyFlares

Update: we have submitted a Letter to PNAS as a response to the paper discussed below. It is currently available as a preprint.

The Mirkin group recently published the latest paper to use Spherical Nucleic Acid (SNA) technology that we’ve come to know and love as Smart/Nano Flares. In an interesting twist, instead of having target oligos bind to the nanoparticle (displacing fluorescent reporter sequences), the reporter sequences are now complimentary to the target oligos, labelling them directly. In theory this allows for dynamic labelled, tracking and quantitation of mRNA in cells.

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Imaging with Gold

Gold nanoparticles (GNPs, also known as “colloidal gold“) have become the subject of large amounts of research in recent years which can mainly be attributed to their unique properties. Their potential applications range from targeted drug delivery to cell imaging. It is their use in cell imaging, specifically photothermal microscopy, that I’m interested in for my summer project.

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Probing for Caveosomes

As mentioned before, one of the things that has been bugging me about the SmartFlares is that they’re not where anyone expects them. EMD expect them in the cytosol (we don’t see them there), I expected them in endosomes and they weren’t really there either. So what could this mystery compartment be?

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