Effect of capsid proteins to ICG mass ratio on fluorescent quantum yield of virus-resembling optical nano-materials
We recently reported construction of a new type of optical nano-construct composed of genome-depleted plant infecting brome mosaic virus (BMV) doped with Indocyanine green (ICG), an FDA-approved chromophore. We refer to these constructs as optical viral ghosts (OVGs) since only the capsid protein (CP) subunits of BMV remain to encapsulate ICG. To utilize OVGs as effective nano-probes in fluorescence imaging applications, their fluorescence quantum yield needs to be maximized. In this study, we investigate the effect of altering the CP to ICG mass ratio on the fluorescent quantum yield of OVGs. Results of this study provide the basis for construction of OVGs with optimal amounts of CP and ICG to yield maximal fluorescence quantum yield.