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Upconversion: road to El Dorado of the fluorescence world

Authors

  • Li Ching Ong,

    1. Division of Bioengineering, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore, 117576, Singapore
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    • Li Ching Ong, Muthu Kumara Gnanasammandhan and Sounderya Nagarajan contributed equally to this work.

  • Muthu Kumara Gnanasammandhan,

    1. Division of Bioengineering, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore, 117576, Singapore
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    • Li Ching Ong, Muthu Kumara Gnanasammandhan and Sounderya Nagarajan contributed equally to this work.

  • Sounderya Nagarajan,

    1. Division of Bioengineering, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore, 117576, Singapore
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    • Li Ching Ong, Muthu Kumara Gnanasammandhan and Sounderya Nagarajan contributed equally to this work.

  • Yong Zhang

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Bioengineering, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore, 117576, Singapore
    2. Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Initiative, National University of Singapore, 117576, Singapore
    • Division of Bioengineering, Faculty of Engineering, Block EA-03-12, National University of Singapore, 7 Engineering Drive 1, Singapore 117574
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Abstract

Upconversion nanoparticles (UCNs), in the recent times have attracted attention due to their unique properties, which makes them ideal fluorophores for use in biological applications. There have been various reports on their use for targeted cell imaging, drug and gene delivery and also for diffuse optical tomography. Here we give a brief introduction on what are UCNs and the mechanism of upconversion, followed by a discussion on the biological applications of UCNs and further on what the future holds for UCNs. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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