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Ultrasensitive, Biocompatible, Quantum-Dot-Embedded Silica Nanoparticles for Bioimaging

Authors

  • Bong-Hyun Jun,

    1. School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-747, Korea
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Bioengineering University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
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  • Do Won Hwang,

    1. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, 110-744, Korea
    2. Institute of Radiation Medicine, Medical Research Center, Seoul, 110-744, Korea
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  • Heung Su Jung,

    1. Nanosquare Inc. ENG BLD39-122, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-747, Korea
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  • Jaeho Jang,

    1. WCU Department of Molecular Medicine and Biopharmaceutical Sciences, Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-747, Korea
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  • Hyunsoo Kim,

    1. Nanosquare Inc. ENG BLD39-122, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-747, Korea
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  • Homan Kang,

    1. Nano Systems Institute and Interdisciplinary Program in Nano-Science and Technology, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-747, Korea
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  • Taegyu Kang,

    1. School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-747, Korea
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  • San Kyeong,

    1. School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-747, Korea
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  • Hyeokjae Lee,

    1. Nanosquare Inc. ENG BLD39-122, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-747, Korea
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  • Dae Hong Jeong,

    1. Nano Systems Institute and Interdisciplinary Program in Nano-Science and Technology, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-747, Korea
    2. Department of Chemistry Education, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-747, Korea
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  • Keon Wook Kang,

    1. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, 110-744, Korea
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  • Hyewon Youn,

    1. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, 110-744, Korea
    2. Cancer Imaging Center, Seoul National University Cancer Hospital, Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, 110-799, Korea
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  • Dong Soo Lee,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, 110-744, Korea
    2. WCU Department of Molecular Medicine and Biopharmaceutical Sciences, Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-747, Korea
    • Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, 110-744, Korea
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  • Yoon-Sik Lee

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-747, Korea
    2. Nano Systems Institute and Interdisciplinary Program in Nano-Science and Technology, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-747, Korea
    • School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-747, Korea.
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Abstract

The successful development of highly sensitive, water-compatible, nontoxic nanoprobes has allowed nanomaterials to be widely employed in various applications. The applicability of highly bright quantum dot (QD)-based probes consisting of QDs on 120 nm silica nanoparticles (NPs) with silica shells is investigated. Their substantial merits, such as their brightness and biocompatibility, for effective bioimaging are demonstrated. Silica-coated, QD-embedded silica NPs (Si@QDs@Si NPs) containing QDs composed of CdSe@ZnS (core-shell) are prepared to compare their structure-based advantages over single QDs that have a similar quantum yield (QY). These Si@QDs@Si NPs exhibit approximately 200-times stronger photoluminescence (PL) than single QDs. Cytotoxicity studies reveal that the Si@QDs@Si NPs are less toxic than equivalent numbers of silica-free single quantum dots. The excellence of the Si@QDs@Si NPs with regard to in vivo applications is illustrated by significantly enhanced fluorescence signals from Si@QDs@Si-NP-tagged cells implanted in mice. Notably, a more advanced version of QD-based silica NPs (Si@mQDs@Si NPs), containing multishell quantum dots (mQDs) composed of CdSe@CdS@ZnS, are prepared without significant loss of QY during surface modification. In addition, the Si@mQDs@Si NPs display a fivefold higher fluorescence activity than the Si@QDs@Si NPs. As few as 400 units of Si@mQDs@Si- NP-internalized cells can be detected in the cell-implanted mouse model.

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