Fabrication of Chitosan Nanoparticles with Aggregation-Induced Emission Characteristics and Their Applications in Long-Term Live Cell Imaging

Authors

  • Min Li,

    1. Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China
    2. Department of Chemistry, Institute for Advanced Study, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Molecular Functional Materials and Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
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  • Yuning Hong,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Institute for Advanced Study, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Molecular Functional Materials and Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
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  • Zhengke Wang,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Institute for Advanced Study, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Molecular Functional Materials and Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
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  • Sijie Chen,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Institute for Advanced Study, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Molecular Functional Materials and Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
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  • Meng Gao,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Institute for Advanced Study, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Molecular Functional Materials and Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
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  • Ryan T. K. Kwok,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Institute for Advanced Study, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Molecular Functional Materials and Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
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  • Wei Qin,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Institute for Advanced Study, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Molecular Functional Materials and Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
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  • Jacky W. Y. Lam,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Institute for Advanced Study, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Molecular Functional Materials and Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
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  • Qichang Zheng,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China
    • Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China
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  • Ben Zhong Tang

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry, Institute for Advanced Study, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Molecular Functional Materials and Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
    2. Guangdong Innovative Research Team, SCUT-HKUST Joint Research Laboratory, State Key Laboratory of Luminescent Materials and Devices, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China
    3. HKUST Shenzhen Research Institute, No. 9 Yuexing 1st RD, South Area, Hi-tech Park, Nanshan, Shenzhen 518057, China
    • Department of Chemistry, Institute for Advanced Study, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Molecular Functional Materials and Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.
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Abstract

Chitosan with tetraphenylethene pendants (TPE-CS) are synthesized by reaction between amine and isothiocyanate groups of chitosan and tetraphenylethene (TPE), respectively. Nanoparticles of TPE-CS (TPE-CS NPs) are fabricated by ionic gelation method. The NPs are uniform in size, spherical in shape, monodispersed, and positive in surface charge. The suspension of TPE-CS NPs emits strong blue fluorescence under photoexcitation due to the aggregation-induced emission characteristics of the TPE moieties. The NPs can be internalized into cytoplasm through endocytosis pathway and retain inside the live cells to image the cells. Cytotoxicity assay reveals that TPE-CS NPs are cytocompatible and thus can be used for long-term live cell imaging.

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