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Issue 5, 2013
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High-intensity near-IR fluorescence in semiconducting polymer dots achieved by cascade FRET strategy

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Abstract

Near-IR (NIR) emitting semiconducting polymer dots (Pdots) with ultrabright fluorescence have been prepared for specific cellular targeting. A series of π-conjugated polymers were synthesized to form water dispersible multicomponent Pdots by an ultrasonication-assisted co-precipitation method. By optimizing cascade energy transfer in Pdots, high-intensity NIR fluorescence (Φ = 0.32) with tunable excitations, large absorption–emission separation (up to 330 nm), and narrow emission bands (FWHM = 44 nm) have been achieved. Single-particle fluorescence imaging show that the as-prepared NIR Pdots were more than three times brighter than the commercially available Qdot705 with comparable sizes under identical conditions of excitation and detection. Because of the covalent introduction of carboxylic acid groups into polymer side chains, the bioconjugation between NIR-emitting Pdots and streptavidins can be readily completed via these functional groups on the surface of Pdots. Furthermore, through flow cytometry and confocal fluorescence microscopy the NIR-emitting Pdot–streptavidin conjugates proved that they could effectively label EpCAM receptors on the surface of MCF-7 cells, via specific binding between streptavidin and biotin.

Graphical abstract: High-intensity near-IR fluorescence in semiconducting polymer dots achieved by cascade FRET strategy

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
25 Jan 2013
Accepted
27 Feb 2013
First published
27 Feb 2013

Chem. Sci., 2013,4, 2143-2151
Article type
Edge Article

High-intensity near-IR fluorescence in semiconducting polymer dots achieved by cascade FRET strategy

X. Zhang, J. Yu, Y. Rong, F. Ye, D. T. Chiu and K. Uvdal, Chem. Sci., 2013, 4, 2143
DOI: 10.1039/C3SC50222H

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