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Conjugated Polymer and Gold Nanoparticle Co-loaded PLGA Nanocomposites with Eccentric Internal Nanostructure for Dual-modal Targeted Cellular Imaging

Authors

  • Junlong Geng,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 4 Engineering Drive 4, National University of Singapore, 117576, Singapore
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  • Kai Li,

    1. Institute of Materials Research Engineering, 3 Research Link, 117602, Singapore, E-mail: liub@imre.a-star.edu.sg
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  • Kan-Yi Pu,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 4 Engineering Drive 4, National University of Singapore, 117576, Singapore
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  • Dan Ding,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 4 Engineering Drive 4, National University of Singapore, 117576, Singapore
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  • Bin Liu

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 4 Engineering Drive 4, National University of Singapore, 117576, Singapore
    2. Institute of Materials Research Engineering, 3 Research Link, 117602, Singapore, E-mail: liub@imre.a-star.edu.sg
    • Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 4 Engineering Drive 4, National University of Singapore, 117576, Singapore.
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Abstract

Herein is reported the one-step synthesis of an integrated nanocomposite with eccentrically loaded 5 nm gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) and conjugated polymer of poly[9,9-bis(6’-N,N,N-trimethylammonium)hexyl)fluorenyldivinylene-alt-4,7-(2,1,3,- benzothiadiazole) dibromide] (PFVBT). The nanocomposite is generated with surface-functionalized folic acid groups due to the matrix polymer of PLGA–PEG2000-folate used for encapsulation. The nanocomposite shows far-red fluorescence from PFVBT and scattering signal from Au NPs. Although Au NPs have been widely reported to quench the fluorescence of conjugated polymers, the PFVBT fluorescence is well maintained in the nanocomposite due to the eccentric location of Au NPs. The folic acid groups at the nanocomposite surface favor its cellular uptake by MCF-7 breast cancer cells, which have overexpressed folate receptors on the cell membranes. In conjugation with its low cytotoxicity, the folic-acid-functionalized nanocomposite has been successfully utilized for fluorescence and dark-field dual-modal targeted cellular imaging.

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