Preparation of emissive glucose-containing polymer nanoparticles and their cell imaging applications†
A novel amphiphilic glucose-containing fluorescent polymer based on aggregation induced emission (AIE) dyes, which could self-assemble into nanoparticles in aqueous media, has been facilely prepared. This glucose-containing polymer was synthesized in one pot; firstly, by free radical polymerization between the AIE monomer (PhE) and glycidyl methacrylate (GM), and subsequently, by the ring-opening reaction between GM and glucosamine hydrochloride (Glu). The resulting amphiphilic glycopolymer would readily self-assemble into nanoparticles with AIE dyes in the core and glycosyl groups on the surface. The AIE dyes in the core gave the nanoparticles a demonstrated strong orange fluorescence emission with high quantum yield of about 41% due to their aggregation induced emission characteristics, and the glycosyl groups on the surface endowed the nanoparticles with great water dispersibility. These nanoparticles showed excellent cell uptake behaviour and biocompatibility, and their cell imaging abilities were also confirmed, which makes them promising for further biomedical applications.