An Nd3+-sensitized upconversion nanophosphor modified with a cyanine dye for the ratiometric upconversion luminescence bioimaging of hypochlorite†
Excessive or misplaced production of ClO− in living systems is usually associated with many human diseases. Therefore, it is of great importance to develop an effective and sensitive method to detect ClO− in living systems. Herein, we designed an 808 nm excited upconversion luminescence nanosystem, composed of the Nd3+-sensitized core–shell upconversion nanophosphor NaYF4:30%Yb,1%Nd,0.5%Er@NaYF4:20%Nd, which serves as an energy donor, and the ClO−-responsive cyanine dye hCy3, which acts as an energy acceptor, for ratiometric upconversion luminescence (UCL) monitoring of ClO−. The detection limit of ClO− for this nanoprobe in aqueous solution is 27 ppb and the nanoprobe was successfully used to detect the ClO− in the living cells by ratiometric upconversion luminescence. Importantly, the nanoprobe realized the detection of ClO− in a mouse model of arthritis, which produced an excess of ROS, under 808 nm irradiation in vivo. The excitation laser efficiently reduced the heating effect, compared to the commonly used 980 nm laser for upconversion systems.