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Issue 16, 2014
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Regulation of multifunctional mesoporous core–shell nanoparticles with luminescence and magnetic properties for biomedical applications

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Abstract

Gd3+-based/mesoporous silica-coated multifunctional core–shell (Y,Gd)2O3:Eu3+@nSiO2@mSiO2 nanoparticles (YGO-Bmnc NPs) with red luminescence, paramagnetic and mesoporous properties are developed as a novel nanomedical platform for combined multimodal diagnosis and therapy. 40 nm sized (Y,Gd)2O3:Eu3+ (YGO-Ac) nanocore is synthesized by a labor-saving solvothermal method, 20 nm sized perpendicularly aligned mesoporous silica shell is then successfully coated onto the nanocore through two-step sol–gel process and a highly efficient surfactant removal method (NH4NO3–EtOH). The surface area of nanocore can be increased from 24 m2 g−1 to 562 m2 g−1 after coating mesoporous silica shell without any core-free silica NPs. Light-emitting Eu3+ ion is chosen as a model to study the solvothermal mechanism and downconversion/upconversion luminescence properties of nanocore; Y3+ is doped into matrix to enhance energy transfer from Gd3+ to the doped Eu3+. Further investigation of luminescence property of YGO-Bmnc NPs shows that they are good red phosphors with millisecond-lever fluorescence lifetime (τ = 2.54 ms, 612 nm, 5D07F2). MTT assay reveals low cytotoxicity of the system with IC50 ([Gd]) > 1000 µg mL−1 (6.36 mM). The possibility of using YGO-Bmnc NPs for optical imaging in vitro has been demonstrated. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in vitro exhibits a high r1 relaxivity of 5.05 mM−1 s−1 and low r2/r1 ratio of 1.216 (3.0 T) which is much lower than other existing Gd3+-based nanoscale contrast agents, manifesting that YGO-Bmnc NPs can be efficient T1 contrast agents. In light of their good performance in optical-MR imaging and highly ordered mesoporous structure, it is anticipated that they are suitable for combined multimodal diagnosis and therapy, they can load other imaging agents or drugs to provide complementary information from each imaging modality and guide individual treatment. What's more, the mesoporous silica shell can provide a large venue for the effective modification of various functional groups and biotargets with selectivity and specificity.

Graphical abstract: Regulation of multifunctional mesoporous core–shell nanoparticles with luminescence and magnetic properties for biomedical applications

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Dec 2013, accepted on 29 Jan 2014 and first published on 31 Jan 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3TB21702G
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Citation: J. Mater. Chem. B, 2014,2, 2265-2275

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    Regulation of multifunctional mesoporous core–shell nanoparticles with luminescence and magnetic properties for biomedical applications

    X. Hu, M. Wang, F. Miao, J. Ma, H. Shen and N. Jia, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2014, 2, 2265
    DOI: 10.1039/C3TB21702G

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