Ln3+-doped nanoparticles with enhanced NIR-II luminescence for lighting up blood vessels in mice†
Probes functioning in the second near-infrared window (1000–1700 nm, NIR-II) exhibit higher resolution and diminished auto-fluorescence compared to those in the traditional NIR region (700–950 nm). Here, we designed and synthesized rare earth ion doped probes with core/shell/shell structures and bright luminescence in the NIR-II region excited at 808 nm. With the doping of Ce3+ ions, the emission intensity of Er3+ at 1530 nm increased 10 times, while the upconversion luminescence decreased to less than 1%. After being modified with polyacrylic acid and polyethylene glycol, the as-obtained water-soluble probe exhibits continuous high-resolution for distinguishing 0.25 mm blood vessels even 10 h after injection. Noteworthily, the imaging of tumors was achieved by injecting the probe, indicating that the designed NIR-II probe has sufficient brightness and the ability to passively target tumor tissue.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2020 Nanoscale HOT Article Collection