Issue 1, 2011

Sensing with fluorescent nanoparticles


Fluorescent chemosensors are chemical systems that can detect and signal the presence of selected analytes through variations in their fluorescence emission. Their peculiar properties make them arguably one of the most useful tools that chemistry has provided to biomedical research, enabling the intracellular monitoring of many different species for medical and biological purposes. In its simplest design, a fluorescent chemosensor is composed of a fluorescent dye and a receptor, with a built-in transduction mechanism that converts recognition events into variations of the emission properties of the fluorescent dye. As soon as fluorescent nanoparticles became available, several applications in the field of sensing were explored. Nanoparticles have been used not only as better-performing substitutes of traditional dyes but also as multivalent scaffolds for the realization of supramolecular assemblies, while their high surface to volume ratio allows for distinct spatial domains (bulk, external surface, pores and shells) to be functionalized to a comparable extent with different organic species. Over the last few years, nanoparticles proved to be versatile synthetic platforms for the implementation of new sensing schemes.

Graphical abstract: Sensing with fluorescent nanoparticles

Article information

Article type
Feature Article
14 Jun 2010
09 Aug 2010
First published
21 Oct 2010

Nanoscale, 2011,3, 121-133

Sensing with fluorescent nanoparticles

L. Baù, P. Tecilla and F. Mancin, Nanoscale, 2011, 3, 121 DOI: 10.1039/C0NR00405G

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