Get access
Advertisement

Small Upconverting Fluorescent Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications

Authors

  • Dev K. Chatterjee,

    1. Division of Bioengineering, National University of Singapore, 7 Engineering Drive 1, Singapore 117574, Phone: +65-65164871, Fax: +65-68723069
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Muthu Kumara Gnanasammandhan,

    1. Division of Bioengineering, National University of Singapore, 7 Engineering Drive 1, Singapore 117574, Phone: +65-65164871, Fax: +65-68723069
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Yong Zhang

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Bioengineering, National University of Singapore, 7 Engineering Drive 1, Singapore 117574, Phone: +65-65164871, Fax: +65-68723069
    2. Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Initiative, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117576
    • Division of Bioengineering, National University of Singapore, 7 Engineering Drive 1, Singapore 117574, Phone: +65-65164871, Fax: +65-68723069.
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Fluorescent labels have been widely used for biological applications, primarily in imaging and assays. Traditional fluorophores such as fluorescent dyes are mainly based on downconversion fluorescence, which have several drawbacks such as photobleaching, high background noise from autofluorescence, and considerable photodamage to biological materials. Upconverting fluorescent nanoparticles emit detectable photons of higher energy in the near-infrared (NIR) or visible range upon irradiation with an NIR light in a process termed ‘upconversion.’ They overcome some of the disadvantages faced by conventional downconversion labels, thus making them an ideal fluorescent label for biological applications. This review looks at the development of these particles, critically examines the reported applications, and discusses their future in biomedicine.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary