Navarro JR, Wennmalm S, Godfrey J, Breitholtz M, Edlund U
Biomacromolecules 17 (3) 1101-1109 [2016-03-14; online 2016-01-29]
A strategy is devised for the conversion of cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) into fluorescently labeled probes involving the synthesis of CNF-based macroinitiators that initiate radical polymerization of methyl acrylate and acrylic acid N-hydroxysuccinimide ester producing a graft block copolymer modified CNF. Finally, a luminescent probe (Lucifer yellow derivative) was labeled onto the modified CNF through an amidation reaction. The surface modification steps were verified with solid-state (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) confirmed the successful labeling of the CNF; the CNF have a hydrodynamic radius of about 700 nm with an average number of dye molecules per fibril of at least 6600. The modified CNF was also imaged with confocal laser scanning microscopy. Luminescent CNF proved to be viable biomarkers and allow for fluorescence-based optical detection of CNF uptake and distribution in organisms such as crustaceans. The luminescent CNF were exposed to live juvenile daphnids and microscopy analysis revealed the presence of the luminescent CNF all over D. magna's alimentary canal tissues without any toxicity effect leading to the death of the specimen.