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      Biosynthesis of luminescent quantum dots in an earthworm.

      Nature nanotechnology

      Animals, Biotechnology, methods, Cadmium Compounds, metabolism, Cell Line, Environmental Exposure, Gastrointestinal Tract, chemistry, cytology, Histocytochemistry, Luminescent Agents, isolation & purification, Macrophages, Mice, Nanotechnology, Oligochaeta, Particle Size, Quantum Dots, Tellurium

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          Abstract

          The synthesis of designer solid-state materials by living organisms is an emerging field in bio-nanotechnology. Key examples include the use of engineered viruses as templates for cobalt oxide (Co(3)O(4)) particles, superparamagnetic cobalt-platinum alloy nanowires and gold-cobalt oxide nanowires for photovoltaic and battery-related applications. Here, we show that the earthworm's metal detoxification pathway can be exploited to produce luminescent, water-soluble semiconductor cadmium telluride (CdTe) quantum dots that emit in the green region of the visible spectrum when excited in the ultraviolet region. Standard wild-type Lumbricus rubellus earthworms were exposed to soil spiked with CdCl(2) and Na(2)TeO(3) salts for 11 days. Luminescent quantum dots were isolated from chloragogenous tissues surrounding the gut of the worm, and were successfully used in live-cell imaging. The addition of polyethylene glycol on the surface of the quantum dots allowed for non-targeted, fluid-phase uptake by macrophage cells.

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          Most cited references 24

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          Virus-enabled synthesis and assembly of nanowires for lithium ion battery electrodes.

          The selection and assembly of materials are central issues in the development of smaller, more flexible batteries. Cobalt oxide has shown excellent electrochemical cycling properties and is thus under consideration as an electrode for advanced lithium batteries. We used viruses to synthesize and assemble nanowires of cobalt oxide at room temperature. By incorporating gold-binding peptides into the filament coat, we formed hybrid gold-cobalt oxide wires that improved battery capacity. Combining virus-templated synthesis at the peptide level and methods for controlling two-dimensional assembly of viruses on polyelectrolyte multilayers provides a systematic platform for integrating these nanomaterials to form thin, flexible lithium ion batteries.
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            Aqueous Synthesis of Thiol-Capped CdTe Nanocrystals: State-of-the-Art

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              Mercury-selenium compounds and their toxicological significance: toward a molecular understanding of the mercury-selenium antagonism.

               Feiyue Wang,  M. Khan (2009)
              The interaction between mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se) is one of the best known examples of biological antagonism, yet the underlying mechanism remains unclear. This review focuses on the possible pathways leading to the Hg-Se antagonism, with an emphasis on the potential Hg-Se compounds that are responsible for the antagonism at the molecular level (i.e., bis[methylmercuric]selenide, methylmercury selenocysteinate, selenoprotein P-bound HgSe clusters, and the biominerals HgSe(x)S(1-x)). The presence of these compounds in biological systems has been suggested by direct or indirect evidence, and their chemical properties support their potentially key roles in alleviating the toxicity of Hg and Se (at high Hg and Se exposures, respectively) and deficiency of Se (at low Se exposures). Direct analytical evidences are needed, however, to confirm their in vivo presence and metabolic pathways, as well as to identify the roles of other potential Hg-Se compounds. Further studies are also warranted for the determination of thermodynamic properties of these compounds under physiological conditions toward a better understanding of the Hg-Se antagonism in biota, particularly under real world exposure scenarios.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                23263722
                10.1038/nnano.2012.232

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