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Title: Carbon nanofibers arrays: A novel tool for microdelivery of biomolecules to plants

Effective methods for delivering bioprobes into the cells of intact plants are essential for investigating diverse biological processes. Increasing research on trees, such as Populus spp., for bioenergy applications is driving the need for techniques that work well with tree species. This report introduces vertically aligned carbon nanofiber (VACNF) arrays as a new tool for microdelivery of labeled molecules to Populus leaf tissue and whole plants. We demonstrated that VACNFs penetrate the leaf surface to deliver sub-microliter quantities of solution containing fluorescent or radiolabeled molecules into Populus leaf cells. Importantly, VACNFs proved to be gentler than abrasion with carborundum, a common way to introduce material into leaves. Unlike carborundum, VACNFs did not disrupt cell or tissue integrity, nor did they induce production of hydrogen peroxide, a typical wound response. We show that femtomole to picomole quantities of labeled molecules (fluorescent dyes, small proteins and dextran), ranging from 0.5–500 kDa, can be introduced by VACNFs, and we demonstrate the use of the approach to track delivered probes from their site of introduction on the leaf to distal plant regions. VACNF arrays thus offer an attractive microdelivery method for the introduction of biomolecules and other probes into trees and potentially other typesmore » of plants.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [2]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  3. The Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States)
  4. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; ERKP-417
Published Article
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1932-6203
Public Library of Science
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; leaves; plant biochemistry; carbon fiber; nanomaterials; adaxial surface; epidermis; leaf veins; radioactivity
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1254081