Fluorescent organic nanoparticles based on small molecules have been regarded as promising candidates for bioimaging in recent years. In this study, we report a highly stable near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent organic nanoprobes based on nanoparticles of an anthraquinone derivate with strong aggregation-induced emission (AIE) characteristics and a large Stokes shift (>175 nm). These endow the nanoprobe with high fluorescent brightness and high signal-to-noise ratio. On the other hand, the nanoprobe also shows low cytotoxicity, good stability over a wide pH range, superior resistance against photodegradation and photobleaching comparing to typical commercial fluorescent organic dyes such as fluorescein sodium. Endowed with such merits in term of optical performance, biocompatibility, and stability, the nanoprobe is demonstrated to be an ideal fluorescent probe for noninvasive long-term cellular tracing and imaging applications. As an example, it is shown that strong red fluorescence from the nanoprobe can still be clearly observed in A549 human lung cancer cells after incubation for six generations over 15 days.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)