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Faculty Advisors

Ao, Geyou


Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are among the most widely studied artificial nanomaterials. Their dispersion stability in biological media is a prerequisite for applications development in biomedical imaging and sensing. This project investigates the dispersion stability of DNA-wrapped SWCNTs in RPMI cell culture media with and without fetal bovine serum (FBS). The synthetic SWCNT mixtures were purified into semiconducting enriched fractions and various single species including (11,1), (9,4), and (7,3) using recognition DNA sequences by a polymer aqueous two-phase (ATP) separation method. The near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence, vis-NIR absorption, and pH of DNA-SWCNT dispersions in different biological media were monitored over time. According to optical properties of SWCNTs, we found that while DNA-SWCNTs were mostly stable over a period of 4 weeks in water, aggregations of SWCNTs occurred in media after 3 days, and FBS containing media after 2 hours. Interestingly, the kinetic measurements of single species in media with FBS showed a monotonic decrease in NIR photoluminescence (PL) intensity for (11,1), (7,3), and (6,4), and relatively stable PL intensity for (6,5) enantiomers within experimental time period. However, increase in PL intensity was observed for (9,4), (7,6), and (7,5), indicating different mechanisms for interactions between DNA-SWCNTs and biological media.

Publication Date



Washkewicz College of Engineering


Chem & Biom Eng


Chemical Engineering

P2: Dispersion Stability of DNA-Wrapped Carbon Nanotubes in Biological Media