Bioinspired Amyloid Nanodots with Visible Fluorescence

Nadezda Lapshina, Ivan I. Shishkin, Ramesh Nandi, Roman E. Noskov, Hani Barhom, Sijo Joseph, Boris Apter, Tal Ellenbogen, Amir Natan, Pavel Ginzburg, Nadav Amdursky, Gil Rosenman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nanoscale bioimaging is a highly important scientific and technological tool, where fluorescent (FL) proteins, organic molecular dyes, inorganic quantum dots, and lately carbon dots are widely used as light emitting biolabels. In this work, a new class of visible FL bioorganic nanodots, self-assembled from short peptides of different composition and origin, is introduced. It is shown that the electronic energy spectrum of native nonfluorescent peptide nanodots (PNDs) is deeply modified upon thermally mediated refolding of their biological secondary structure from native metastable to stable β-sheet rich structure. This refolding leads to the appearance of a broadband optical absorption across visible region and tunable, excitation-dependent visible FL of the nanodots with a high quantum yield of ≈30%. It is shown that this intriguing biophotonic effect appears in several peptides/proteins and does not require the presence of aromatic residues. It is assumed that the origin of the phenomenon is related to proton transfer along network of reconstructed intermolecular hydrogen bonds, stabilizing the thermally induced supramolecular β-sheet structure. The biocompatible FL PNDs can be potentially applied as high-resolution bioimaging labels toward advanced biotechnology and biomedical theranostics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1801400
JournalAdvanced Optical Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - 5 Mar 2019


  • fluorescent peptide nanodots
  • peptide nanophotonics
  • peptide nanostructures
  • refolding of peptide secondary structure
  • visible fluorescence


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