Lanthanide-doped luminescent nano-bioprobes for the detection of tumor markers
Sensitive and specific biodetection of tumor markers is essential for early-stage cancer diagnosis and therapy, and will ultimately increase the patient survival rate. As a new generation of luminescent bioprobes, lanthanide (Ln3+)-doped inorganic luminescent nanoparticles have attracted considerable interest for a variety of biomedical applications due to their superior physicochemical properties. In this feature article, we provide a brief overview of the most recent advances in the development of Ln3+-doped luminescent nano-bioprobes and their promising applications for in vitro detection of tumor markers with an emphasis on the establishment of state-of-the-art assay techniques, such as heterogeneous time-resolved (TR) luminescent bioassay, dissolution-enhanced luminescent bioassay, upconversion (UC) luminescent bioassay, homogeneous TR Förster resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET) and UC-FRET bioassays. Some future prospects and efforts towards this emerging field are also envisioned.