Department of Chemistry; Office of the Vice-President (Research and Development)
Near-infrared emissive lanthanide hybridized carbon quantum dots for bioimaging applications
Lanthanide hybridized carbon quantum dots (Ln-CQDs) were synthesized by a facile one-pot hydrothermal method using citric acid as a carbon precursor and Yb3+ or Nd3+ as a doping ion. The morphology and chemical structures of Ln-CQDs were investigated by TEM, XRD, XPS, and FTIR spectroscopy. The obtained Ln-CQDs are spherical and well dispersed in water, and their aqueous solutions emit strong blue emission under UV excitation. The Ln-CQDs exhibit excitation-dependent PL behavior with the emission maximum ranging from 443 to 552 nm under 300–520 nm excitation. Moreover, the carbon quantum dots can not only act as visible imaging agents, but also as antennae for photoluminescence (PL) of lanthanide ions. Hence, CQDs hybridized with Yb3+ or Nd3+ ions exhibit the characteristic emission in the near-infrared region with the emission maximum centered at about 998 and 1068 nm, respectively. The MTT assay against HeLa cells verified the low cytotoxicity of Ln-CQDs. They have been used as excellent optical probes for multicolor cell-imaging, demonstrating their great potential for both visible/NIR bioimaging and biomedical applications in vivo.
Source Publication Title
Journal Of Materials Chemistry B
Royal Society of Chemistry
The authors are grateful for the financial support of National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 21601142), Scientific Research Project of Hubei Provincial Department of Education (grant no. Q20161507), Scientific Research Foundation of Wuhan Institute of Technology (grant no. K201542), Wuhan Science and Technology Talent Training Program of Chenguang Project (grant no. 2015070404010190), National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 81372274 and 8141101080), and the Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province (grant no. 2014A030313033 and 2014A050503037). X. Zhu thanks the financial support from Hong Kong Research Grants Council (HKBU 22304115) and Hong Kong Baptist University (FRG2/14-15/034 and FRG1/ 14-15/058).
Link to Publisher's Edition
Wu, Fengshou, Huifang Su, Xunjin Zhu, Kai Wang, Zhenfeng Zhang, and Wai-Kwok Wong. "Near-infrared emissive lanthanide hybridized carbon quantum dots for bioimaging applications." Journal Of Materials Chemistry B 38.4 (2016): 6366-6372.