Design of multifunctional alkali ion doped CaF2 upconversion nanoparticles for simultaneous bioimaging and therapy
Herein, alkali ion doped CaF2 upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) were first reported as a multifunctional theranostic platform for dual-modal imaging and chemotherapy. Interestingly, we found that the alkali ions doping approach could efficiently enhance the upconversion luminescence (UCL) intensity, whereas slightly affect the phase and morphology of the resulting products. In order to further improve the UCL efficacy for bioimaging, a pristine CaF2 shell was grown on the CaF2:Yb, Er core surface to enhance the UCL intensity. After being transferred into hydrophilic UCNPs, these water-soluble UCNPs could be served as contrast agents for in vitro/in vivo UCL imaging and X-ray computed tomography (CT) imaging. Furthermore, the as-prepared UCNPs could also be employed as nano-carriers for drug delivery. Doxorubicin (DOX) can be easily loaded onto the UCNPs and the DOX-loaded UCNPs exhibit a good cell killing ability. Therefore, the multifunctional core–shell CaF2 UCNPs with UCL/CT imaging and drug carrier properties may find extensive applications in simultaneous imaging diagnosis and therapy.