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Lipid-PEG-Folate Encapsulated Nanoparticles with Aggregation Induced Emission Characteristics: Cellular Uptake Mechanism and Two-Photon Fluorescence Imaging

Authors

  • Junlong Geng,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117576, Fax: (+65) 6779-1936
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  • Kai Li,

    1. Institute of Materials Research Engineering, 3 Research Link, 117602, Singapore
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  • Dan Ding,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117576, Fax: (+65) 6779-1936
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  • Xinhai Zhang,

    1. Institute of Materials Research Engineering, 3 Research Link, 117602, Singapore
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  • Wei Qin,

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

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

    1. Institute of Materials Research Engineering, 3 Research Link, 117602, Singapore
    2. Department of Chemistry, Institute for Advanced Study, Division of Biomedical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience and Institute of Molecular Functional Materials, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
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  • Bin Liu

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117576, Fax: (+65) 6779-1936
    2. Institute of Materials Research Engineering, 3 Research Link, 117602, Singapore
    • Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117576, Fax: (+65) 6779-1936.
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Abstract

Folate functionalized nanoparticles (NPs) that contain fluorogens with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) characteristics are fabricated to show bright far-red/near-infrared fluorescence, a large two-photon absorption cross section and low cytotoxicity, which are internalized into MCF-7 cancer cells mainly through caveolae-mediated endocytosis. One-photon excited in vivo fluorescence imaging illustrates that these AIE NPs can accumulate in a tumor and two-photon excited ex vivo tumor tissue imaging reveals that they can be easily detected in the tumor mass at a depth of 400 μm. These studies indicate that AIE NPs are promising alternatives to conventional TPA probes for biological imaging.

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