Preparation of fluorescent lipid nanocapsules using protein/gold complexes as fluorophore
Biodegradable, biocompatible nanoparticles with tuneable fluorescence - due to their great potential in biology, medicine and sensor development - are now widely studied. The research interest of Varga and co-workers is the fluorescence mechanism of protein/gold nanoclusters. The idea of the present co-operation is to protect the synthesised fluorescent gold-nanoclusters by encapsulation in liposomes to protect them against environmental effects (pH, presence of O2, immune proteins, etc.) leading to the quenching of the fluorescence. Moreover, the lipid nanocapsules can prevent the degradation of the fluorophore protein/gold complex by immune responses and offer the possibility of targeting by anchoring suitable targeting groups to the liposomes. Mihály and co-workers have experience in preparation and biophysical characterization of lipid systems. Structural characterization of the novel fluorescent lipid nanocapsules will be performed by fluorescence and IR spectroscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, light scattering, calorimetry and freeze-fracture combined TEM. Special emphasis will be put on IR spectroscopy providing simultaneous information regarding conformational changes, identification and quantification of localized interaction and the dynamics/phase changes of lipid and protein systems. The Au-heteroatom interaction will be studied by far IR technique (400-50 cm-1).
Judith Mihály, Imre Varga