The use of fluorescence probes for biomedical imaging has attracted significant attention over recent years owing to their high resolution at cellular level. The probes are available in many formats including small particle size based imaging agents which are considered to be promising candidates, due to their excellent stabilities. Yet, concerns over the potential cytotoxicity effects of inorganic luminescent particles have led to questions about their suitability for imaging applications. Exploration of alternatives inspired us to use organic fluorophores with aggregation-induced emission (AIE), prepared by functionalizing the amine group on tetraphenylethene with 3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl isocyanate. The as-synthesized novel AIE fluorophore (TPE-F) display enhanced quantum yield and longer lifetime as compared with its counterparts (4,4′,4″,4-(ethene-1,1,2,2-tetrayl)tetraaniline, TPE-AM). Furthermore, the TPE-F was encapsulated into small-size organic nanoparticles (NPs; dynamic light scattering size, ∼10 nm) with polysuccinimide (PSI). The biocompatibility, excellent stability, bright fluorescence, and selective cell targeting of these NPs enable the as-prepared TPE-F NPs to be suitable for specific fluorescence cell imaging.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry