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Upconverting Nanocomposites with Combined Photothermal and Photodynamic Effects


Lanthanide-doped upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs) have been studied for diverse biomedical applications due to their inherent ability to convert near-infrared (NIR) excitation light to higher energies (spanning the ultraviolet, visible, and NIR regions). To explore additional functionalities, rational combination with other optically active nanostructures may lead to the development of new multimodal nanoplatforms with theranostic (therapy and diagnostic) capabilities. Here, we develop a nanocomposite consisting of NaGdF4:Er3+, Yb3+ UCNPs, mesoporous silica (SiO2), gold nanorods (GNRs) and a photosensitizer, with integrated functionalities including luminescence imaging, photothermal generation, nanothermometry and photodynamic effects. Under 980 nm irradiation, GNRs and UCNPs are simultaneously excited due to the overlap between the surface plasmon resonance of the GNRs and the absorption of the UCNPs leading to plasmonic enhancement of the upconverted luminescence, while concomitantly creating a temperature gradient. The temperature increase can be determined from the intensity ratio of the upconverted green emission of the UCNPs. Finally, a photosensitizer, zinc phthalocyanine, was loaded into the mesoporous SiO2. Upon laser irradiation, the upconverted visible light subsequently activates the photosensitizer to release reactive oxygen species. The multifunctional GNR@SiO2@UCNPs nanocomposites showed strong luminescence signal when incubated in HeLa cervical cancer cells, making them ideal bioprobes for future theranostic applications.

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Jul 2017, accepted on 03 Dec 2017 and first published on 06 Dec 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR05499H
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Upconverting Nanocomposites with Combined Photothermal and Photodynamic Effects

    Y. Huang, A. Skripka, L. Labrador-Páez, F. Sanz-Rodríguez, P. Haro Gonzalez, D. Jaque Garcia, F. Rosei and F. Vetrone, Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR05499H

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