Jump to main content
Jump to site search


A Convenient, Bio-inspired Approach to the Synthesis of Multi-functional, Stable Fluorescent Silica Nanoparticles Using Poly(Ethylene-Imine)

Abstract

Branched poly(ethylene-imine) can be tagged with luminescent dyes (e.g., fluorescein isothiocyanate and tetramethylrhodamine isothiocyanate) and used to precipitate spherical silica particles from 10s-to-100s of nm diameter size under mild conditions. These dye-PEI/SiO2 nanoparticles are highly compatible with polar solvents to give bright fluorescent suspensions, and detailed photophysical characterization reveals well-separated dye moieties with an approximately homogeneous dispersion of dye-PEI conjugate throughout the SiO2 matrix. Reaction of PEI amine groups incorporated at the particle surface affords a simple method for post-synthesis functionalization of these materials, and the formation of FITC/Eosin-Y fluorescence resonance energy transfer pair-tagged particles and SiO2@Au core-shell nanocomposites using this strategy is demonstrated. This bio-inspired approach to multi-functional SiO2 nanoparticles provides a range of potential advantages over traditional “inorganic” syntheses of similar materials, as it proceeds through a scalable, single-step reaction using inexpensive reagents, enables efficient incorporation of luminescent species into the resulting particles with very limited dye aggregation, and provides nanoparticles that do not require post-synthesis modification for further conjugation with species of interest. The method offers a simple means to generate complex nanocomposites, whereby a host of desired species can be incorporated both inside and on the surface of biocompatible SiO2 nanoparticles.

Back to tab navigation
Please wait while Download options loads

Publication details

The article was received on 19 Jan 2017, accepted on 27 Mar 2017 and first published on 04 Apr 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR00462A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
  •   Request permissions

    A Convenient, Bio-inspired Approach to the Synthesis of Multi-functional, Stable Fluorescent Silica Nanoparticles Using Poly(Ethylene-Imine)

    C. A. Bauer, G. Chi, O. Q. Likens and S. M. Brown, Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR00462A

Search articles by author