Highlights Of The Chapter

• Bionanophotonics refers to research and applications that involve both biomedical sciences and nanophotonics.

• Nanophotonics involves light-matter interactions on nanoscale. It is another exciting frontier dealing with nanoscale optical science and technology.

• Nanoscale light-matter interactions can be manifested in two ways:

(i) by confining the light on nanoscale with the use of a near-field geometry such as that in near-field microscopy, discussed in Chapters 7 and 8, and

(ii) by confining the matter on nanoscale by using nanoparticles and nanodomains.

• Nanochemistry involves the use of confined chemical reactions to produce nanoscale materials, such as nanoparticles and nanostructures.

• Nanoparticles can be produced by nanochemistry, by confining a chemical reaction within a reverse micelle. It consists of molecules with hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails that are self-organized around a water droplet.

• Multilayered particles can be produced subsequent to nanoparticle formation by additional multiple steps invoking various appropriate chemistries.

• Competitive reaction chemistry (CRC) is another nanochemistry approach to produce nanoparticles; here, conditions are chosen for the reactants to initially combine and form particles, but particle growth is limited by some competing reaction.

• Quantum dots are nanoparticles in which electrons and holes are confined in a semiconductor whose size is smaller than a characteristic length called the Bohr radius.

• The luminescence band width in a quantum dot is very narrow and the wavelength of the peak emission depends strongly on the size of the nanoparticle.

• Three advantages of typical quantum dots over dyes in bioimaging applications are that (1) they exhibit longer lifetimes (hence their emission can be separated from any autofluorescence), (2) they do not readily photo-bleach, and (3) they are insensitive to microbial attack.

• Because of their large surface-to-volume ratios, the optical and chemical properties of quantum dots depend strongly on their surface characteristics.

• Semiconductor nanoparticles capped with shells as silica or other semiconductors have been used for biological labeling and imaging.

• Metallic nanoparticles and nanorods have also been used in biosensing.

• Oxide nanoparticles doped with rare-earth ions exhibit emission that generally is long-lived phosphorescence. Hence they are sometimes referred to as nanophores.

• Up-converting nanophores are those that produce up-converted visible emission when excited by an IR radiation. The up-conversion involves sequential absorption of multiphotons; hence a continuous-wave IR laser can induce visible emission.

• These nanophores are useful for bioimaging and also show promise for use in multiphoton photodynamic therapy, to reach deep tumors.

• PEBBLE is an acronym for probe encapsulated by biologically localized embedding and refers to sensor molecules entrapped in an inert nanopar-ticle. These devices are advantageous because cells and the indicator dyes are protected from each other. Also, multiple sensing mechanisms can be combined onto one particle.

• Nanoclinics are surface functionalized silica nanoshells that encapsulate probes as well as externally activatable drugs or therapeutic agents. They have shown to be capable of targeting specific cancer cells.

• Magnetic nanoclinics appear to be capable of destroying cancer cells in the presence of a dc magnetic field.

• Future work in the field of bionanophotonics will include the development of new nanoparticles, the usage of up-converting nanophores in photodynamic therapy, the conduction of nanoparticle-based in-vivo studies, the development of nanoarrays that might replace modern-day microarrays; and the fabrication of plastic-based bionanoelectromechan-ical devices (BioNEMS).


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