Fluorescence phenomena in amyloid and amyloidogenic bionanostructures

B. Apter, N. Lapshina, H. Barhom, B. Fainberg, A. Handelman, A. Accardo, C. Diaferia, P. Ginzburg*, G. Morelli, G. Rosenman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nanoscale optical labeling is an advanced bioimaging tool. It is mostly based on fluorescence (FL) phenomena and enables the visualization of single biocells, bacteria, viruses, and biological tissues, providing monitoring of functional biosystems in vitro and in vivo, and the imaging-guided transportation of drug molecules. There is a variety of FL biolabels such as organic molecular dyes, genetically encoded fluorescent proteins (green fluorescent protein and homologs), semiconductor quantum dots, carbon dots, plasmonic metal gold-based nanostructures and more. In this review, a new generation of FL biolabels based on the recently found biophotonic effects of visible FL are described. This intrinsic FL phenomenon is observed in any peptide/protein materials folded into β-sheet secondary structures, irrespective of their composition, complexity, and origin. The FL effect has been observed both in natural amyloid fibrils, associated with neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and more), and diverse synthetic peptide/protein structures subjected to thermally induced biological refolding helix-like→β-sheet. This approach allowed us to develop a new generation of FL peptide/protein bionanodots radiating multicolor, tunable, visible FL, covering the entire visible spectrum in the range of 400–700 nm. Newly developed biocompatible nanoscale biomarkers are considered as a promising tool for emerging precise biomedicine and advanced medical nanotechnologies (high-resolution bioimaging, light diagnostics, therapy, optogenetics, and health monitoring).

Original languageEnglish
Article number668
Pages (from-to)1-43
Number of pages43
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Bioimaging
  • Fluorescence in polymer/peptide thin films and fibers
  • Fluorescence labels
  • Fluorescent dyes for imaging of amyloid fibrils
  • PEGylated peptides
  • Peptide aggregates
  • Peptide nanostructures
  • Peptidebased materials
  • Reabsorption mechanism of fluorescence long-range propagation
  • Thermally induced refolding helix-like→β-sheet and intrinsic visible fluorescence in amyloid and amyloidogenic β-sheet nanostructures
  • Visible fluorescent bionanodots


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