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Minsuk Kwak†, Wonji Gu†, Heekyung Jeong, Hyunjung Lee, Jung-uk Lee, Minji An, Yong Ho Kim, Jae-Hyun Lee, Jinwoo Cheon*, and Young-wook Jun* († equally contributed)
Small, Clickable, and Monovalent Magnetofluorescent Nanoparticles Enable Mechanogenetic Regulation of Receptors in a Crowded Live-Cell Microenvironment
Nano Lett., 19 (6), 3761-3769
Date: Apr 30, 2019

Multifunctional magnetic nanoparticles have shown great promise as next-generation imaging and perturbation probes for deciphering molecular and cellular processes. As a consequence of multicomponent integration into a single nanosystem, pre-existing nanoprobes are typically large and show limited access to biological targets present in a crowded microenvironment. Here, we apply organic-phase surface PEGylation, click chemistry, and charge-based valency discrimination principles to develop compact, modular, and monovalent magnetofluorescent nanoparticles (MFNs). We show that MFNs exhibit highly efficient labeling to target receptors present in cells with a dense and thick glycocalyx layer. We use these MFNs to interrogate the E-cadherin-mediated adherens junction formation and F-actin polymerization in a three-dimensional space, demonstrating the utility as modular and versatile mechanogenetic probes in the most demanding single-cell perturbation applications.

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