Journal Highlight: Preparation of thermoresponsive fluorescent carbon dots for cellular imaging

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  • Published: Feb 6, 2017
  • Author: spectroscopyNOW
  • Channels: UV/Vis Spectroscopy
thumbnail image: Journal Highlight: Preparation of thermoresponsive fluorescent carbon dots for cellular imaging

Thermoresponsive fluorescent nanoparticles containing carbon dots have been synthesized for use in cellular labeling, showing long-term biostability in a cellular environment.

Preparation of thermoresponsive fluorescent carbon dots for cellular imaging

Polymer International, 2017, 66, 92-97
Junzhi Li, Jianhua Liu, Liqun Xu and Jiucun Chen

Abstract: Nowadays, carbon dots (CDs) have aroused widespread interest due to their chemical stability, biocompatibility as well as low toxicity. Herein, polymerizable CD monomers were synthesized through amidation between hydrophobic CDs and methacryloyl chloride, which has emerged as a facile method for preparing various fluorescent CD monomers. The fluorescent polymerizable CDs were copolymerized with N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM) to form thermoresponsive fluorescent nanoparticles. The poly(NIPAM) (PNIPAM) grafted hydrophobic CDs (CDs-g-PNIPAM) have excellent dispersivity in water, rendering hydrophobic CDs with fluorescence properties in aqueous media. Moreover, CDs-g-PNIPAM nanocomposites show a remarkable thermoresponsive behavior, and the fluorescence intensity decreases progressively with increase in temperature. Cytotoxicity tests show that CDs-g-PNIPAM nanocomposites have great biocompatibility. When the CDs-g-PNIPAM nanocomposites were cultured with HaCaT cells at a concentration of 2000 µg mL−1, cell viability was maintained over 85%. Benefiting from the copolymerization of NIPAM, the excitation-independent fluorescence of CDs-g-PNIPAM nanocomposites can be used for cellular labeling and show long-term biostability in a cellular environment.

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