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High-Efficiency in Vitro and in Vivo Detection of Zn2+ by Dye-Assembled Upconversion Nanoparticles

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journal contribution
posted on 18.02.2015, 00:00 authored by Juanjuan Peng, Wang Xu, Chai Lean Teoh, Sanyang Han, Beomsue Kim, Animesh Samanta, Jun Cheng Er, Lu Wang, Lin Yuan, Xiaogang Liu, Young-Tae Chang
Development of highly sensitive and selective sensing systems of divalent zinc ion (Zn2+) in organisms has been a growing interest in the past decades owing to its pivotal role in cellular metabolism, apoptosis, and neurotransmission. Herein, we report the rational design and synthesis of a Zn2+ fluorescent-based probe by assembling lanthanide-doped upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) with chromophores. Specifically, upconversion luminescence (UCL) can be effectively quenched by the chromophores on the surface of nanoparticles via a fluorescence resonant energy transfer (FRET) process and subsequently recovered upon the addition of Zn2+, thus allowing for quantitative monitoring of Zn2+. Importantly, the sensing system enables detection of Zn2+ in real biological samples. We demonstrate that this chromophore–UCNP nanosystem is capable of implementing an efficient in vitro and in vivo detection of Zn2+ in mouse brain slice with Alzheimer’s disease and zebrafish, respectively.