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Issue 9, 2011
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Near-infrared (1550 nm) in vivo bioimaging based on rare-earth doped ceramic nanophosphors modified with PEG-b-poly(4-vinylbenzylphosphonate)

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Abstract

A novel poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based block copolymer possessing a 4-vinylbenzylphosphonate repeating unit in another segment (PEG-block-poly(4-vinylbenzylphosphonate)) (PEG-b-PVBP) was designed and successfully synthesized. As a control, an end-functionalized PEG possessing a mono-phosphonate group (PEG-PO3H2) was also synthesized. The surface of near-infrared (NIR) phosphors (i.e., ytterbium (Yb) and erbium (Er) ion-codoped Y2O3 nanoparticles (YNPs)) were modified with PEG-b-PVBP (PEG-YNP(b)s) and PEG-PO3H2 (PEG-YNP(1)s). The adsorption of PEG-b-PVBP and PEG-PO3H2 was estimated by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) measurements and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). The physicochemical characteristics of the obtained YNP samples were analyzed by ζ-potential and dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements. The ζ-potentials of YNPs modified by these polymers were close to zero, indicating the effective coverage of the YNP surface by our new PEG derivatives. However, the dispersion stability of the PEGylated YNPs was strongly affected by the structure of the PEG terminus. The average diameter of the PEG-YNP(1)s increased, and aggregates precipitated after less than 1 h in phosphate buffer saline (PBS). In contrast, the size did not change at all in the case of PEG-YNP(b)s and the dispersion in PBS was stable for over 1 week. PEG-YNP(b)s also showed high erosion resistance under acidic conditions. The multiple coordinated PVBP segment of the block copolymer on the YNP surface plays a substantial role in improving such dispersion stability. The excellent dispersion stability and strong NIR luminescence of the obtained PEG-YNP(b)s were also confirmed in fetal bovine serum (FBS) solution over 1 week. Furthermore, in vivo NIR imaging of live mice was performed, and the 1550 nm NIR emission of PEG-YNP(b)s from the organ of live mice was confirmed without dissection.

Graphical abstract: Near-infrared (1550 nm) in vivo bioimaging based on rare-earth doped ceramic nanophosphors modified with PEG-b-poly(4-vinylbenzylphosphonate)

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 May 2011, accepted on 07 Jun 2011 and first published on 27 Jul 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1NR10466G
Citation: Nanoscale, 2011,3, 3705-3713
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    Near-infrared (1550 nm) in vivo bioimaging based on rare-earth doped ceramic nanophosphors modified with PEG-b-poly(4-vinylbenzylphosphonate)

    M. Kamimura, N. Kanayama, K. Tokuzen, K. Soga and Y. Nagasaki, Nanoscale, 2011, 3, 3705
    DOI: 10.1039/C1NR10466G

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