Soft X-ray activated NaYF4:Gd/Tb scintillating nanorods for in vivo dual-modal X-ray/X-ray-induced optical bioimaging†
Lanthanide (Ln) nanocrystals using soft X-ray as an excitation source have received significant research interest due to the advantages of unlimited penetration depth of X-ray light. In this study, we demonstrated an efficient scintillator based on NaYF4:Gd nanorods (denoted as NRs) doped with different contents of terbium (Tb) ions for optical bioimaging under X-ray irradiation. The experimental results showed that the emission intensity was correlated to the doping contents of Tb3+, and the largest emission intensity was achieved by doping 15% Tb under excitation by soft X-ray light. In addition, the emission intensity of the as-prepared NRs can be significantly improved by increasing the excitation power and irradiation times of the X-ray. Owing to the efficient X-ray-induced emission, these NRs were successfully used as probes for X-ray-induced optical bioimaging with high sensitivity. In addition, the dual-modal X-ray imaging and X-ray induced optical bioimaging were performed on a mouse, which indicated that the NRs were promising dual-modal bioprobes. Therefore, the X-ray activation nature of the designed NRs makes them promising probes for biomedicine and X-ray-induced photodynamic therapy (PDT) applications owing to the unlimited penetration depth of X-ray excitation source and absence of autofluorescence.
- This article is part of the themed collection: International Year of the Periodic Table : Lanthanides for Precision Therapy and Beyond