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Keywords:

  • hydrophobic fluorescent dye;
  • water-solubility;
  • high quantum yield;
  • living-cell imaging
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Water-soluble hydrophobic-dye@nano-hybrids (DPN@NHs) with extraordinarily enhanced fluorescent performance were fabricated by encapsulating the hydrophobic dye molecules into the core of the hybrid nanospheres based on the self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers followed by shell cross-linking using 3-mercaptopropyltrimethoxy-silane. The DPN@NHs are 50 nm in size, are monodispersed in aqueous solution and have a quantum yield enhanced by 30 times.