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Bright fluorescent silica-nanoparticle probes for high-resolution STED and confocal microscopy

  • In recent years, fluorescent nanomaterials have gained high relevance in biological applications as probes for various fluorescence-based spectroscopy and imaging techniques. Among these materials, dye-doped silica nanoparticles have demonstrated a high potential to overcome the limitations presented by conventional organic dyes such as high photobleaching, low stability and limited fluorescence intensity. In the present work we describe an effective approach for the preparation of fluorescent silica nanoparticles in the size range between 15 and 80 nm based on L-arginine-controlled hydrolysis of tetraethoxysilane in a biphasic cyclohexane–water system. Commercially available far-red fluorescent dyes (Atto647N, Abberior STAR 635, Dy-647, Dy-648 and Dy-649) were embedded covalently into the particle matrix, which was achieved by aminosilane coupling. The physical particle attributes (particle size, dispersion, degree of agglomeration and stability) and the fluorescence properties of the obtained particles were compared to particles from commonly known synthesis methods. As a result, the spectroscopic characteristics of the presented monodisperse dye-doped silica nanoparticles were similar to those of the free uncoupled dyes, but indicate a much higher photostability and brightness. As revealed by dynamic light scattering and ζ-potential measurements, all particle suspensions were stable in water and cell culture medium. In addition, uptake studies on A549 cells were performed, using confocal and stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy. Our approach allows for a step-by-step formation of dye-doped silica nanoparticles in the form of dye-incorporated spheres, which can be used as versatile fluorescent probes in confocal and STED imaging.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Isabella Tavernaro, Christian Cavelius, Henrike Peuschel, Annette KraegelohORCiD
Parent Title (English):Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology
First Page:1283
Last Page:1296
Year of first Publication:2017
Release Date:2022/11/18
Tag:bioimaging; confocal microscopy; multistep synthesis approach; organic fluorescent dyes; silica nanoparticles; stimulate emission depletion (STED) microscopy
Impact:02.968 (2017)
Groups:Nano Zell Interaktionen
Open Access:Open Access
Signature:INM 2017/110
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International