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Highly luminescent NIR-emitting CuFeS2/ZnS core/shell quantum dots for optical imaging of inflamed tissue

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Abstract

The cytotoxicities of the elements of current quantum dots (QDs) greatly restrict their applications in biomedical fields. Herein, we firstly proposed and synthesized oil-soluble heavier-element-free (or Cd-free) CuFeS2/ZnS QDs, and focused on the synthetic controls over the core/shell structure. It was found that although the as-prepared CuFeS2 QDs are nonemissive, the in situ ZnS-overcoating could make them exhibit bright near-infrared (NIR) photoluminescence (PL) (PL peak at 840 nm; PL quantum yield (QY) up to 52%). We also analyzed their shape, structure and elemental composition in detail. Next, by the interaction between oil-soluble QDs and liposomes, the aqueous QD-laden liposomes (named as LipQDs) were fabricated, allowing further exploration of bio-application. Finally, after further decorating with isolated macrophage membrane, the resulting LipQDs@M nanocomposites were observed to target actively postoperative tumor inflamed tissue (or other inflamed tissues), using an in vivo small animal IR optical imaging system. Our results indicate that these NIR-emitting CuFeS2/ZnS QDs should be a new promising fluorescent marker for biomedical optical imaging, as an alternative for Cd-, Hg-, and Pb-based ones.

Graphical abstract: Highly luminescent NIR-emitting CuFeS2/ZnS core/shell quantum dots for optical imaging of inflamed tissue

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Mar 2019, accepted on 10 May 2019 and first published on 13 May 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9TC01571J
J. Mater. Chem. C, 2019, Advance Article

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    Highly luminescent NIR-emitting CuFeS2/ZnS core/shell quantum dots for optical imaging of inflamed tissue

    T. Yan, Y. Li, X. Song, J. Wang, Z. Xie and D. Deng, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9TC01571J

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