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Red Fluorescent Carbon Nanoparticle-Based Cell Imaging Probe

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journal contribution
posted on 24.03.2016, 00:00 authored by Haydar Ali, Susanta Kumar Bhunia, Chumki Dalal, Nikhil R. Jana
Fluorescent carbon nanoparticle-based probes with tunable visible emission are biocompatible, environment friendly and most suitable for various biomedical applications. However, synthesis of red fluorescent carbon nanoparticles and their transformation into functional nanoparticles are very challenging. Here we report red fluorescent carbon nanoparticle-based nanobioconjugates of <25 nm hydrodynamic size and their application as fluorescent cell labels. Hydrophobic carbon nanoparticles are synthesized via high temperature colloid-chemical approach and transformed into water-soluble functional nanoparticles via coating with amphiphilic polymer followed by covalent linking with desired biomolecules. Following this approach, carbon nanoparticles are functionalized with polyethylene glycol, primary amine, glucose, arginine, histidine, biotin and folic acid. These functional nanoparticles can be excited with blue/green light (i.e., 400–550 nm) to capture their emission spanning from 550 to 750 nm. Arginine and folic acid functionalized nanoparticles have been demonstrated as fluorescent cell labels where blue and green excitation has been used for imaging of labeled cells. The presented method can be extended for the development of carbon nanoparticle-based other bioimaging probes.

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