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AIE-active non-conjugated poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) as a fluorescent thermometer for intracellular temperature imaging

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Abstract

Since temperature is one of the most significant physiological parameters that dictate the cellular status of living organisms, accurate intracellular temperature measurement is crucial and a valuable biomarker for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Herein, we introduce the foremost example of a non-conjugated polymer as a next generation fluorescent thermometer which is capable of addressing the key shortcomings including toxicity and thermal-induced fluorescence quenching associated with π–π conjugated system-based thermometers developed so far. We revealed, for the first time, the unique photophysical and aggregation-induced emission (AIE) characteristics of well-known thermoresponsive poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) (PNVCL) devoid of any classical fluorophore entity. PNVCL underwent a coil to globular conformational transition in an aqueous medium and appeared to be fluorescent above its lower critical solution temperature (LCST) near body temperature (38 °C). Eventually, this intriguing aspect enabled higher cellular uptake of PNVCL at the LCST boundary. By virtue of the AIE effect, the thermo-induced aggregation phenomenon has been ingeniously utilized to apply PNVCL as a novel fluorescent thermometer for intracellular temperature determination.

Graphical abstract: AIE-active non-conjugated poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) as a fluorescent thermometer for intracellular temperature imaging

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Aug 2019, accepted on 27 Oct 2019 and first published on 28 Oct 2019


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C9SC04338A
Chem. Sci., 2020, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    AIE-active non-conjugated poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) as a fluorescent thermometer for intracellular temperature imaging

    B. Saha, B. Ruidas, S. Mete, C. D. Mukhopadhyay, K. Bauri and P. De, Chem. Sci., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9SC04338A

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