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This article is part of the Research Topic

Rational Design of Multi-Functional Nanomaterials

Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Chem. | doi: 10.3389/fchem.2019.00168

Self-assembled biocompatible fluorescent nanoparticles for bioimaging

 Valeria Caponetti1, Jakub W. Trzcinski2, Andrea Cantelli1, Regina Tavano3, Emanuele Papini3, Fabrizio Mancin2 and  Marco Montalti4*
  • 1Dipartimento di Chimica Giacomo Ciamician, Università di Bologna, Italy
  • 2Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Padua, Italy
  • 3Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Padova, Italy
  • 4University of Bologna, Italy

Fluorescence is a powerful tool for mapping biological events in real-time with high special resolution. To achieve high sensitivity ultra-bright probes are needed that collect in a single nanoparticle a huge number of fluorophores. Unfortunately this assembly results in the quenching of the fluorescence because of short-range intermolecular interaction. He we demonstrate that rational structural modification of a well-known molecular fluorophore N-(7-Nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl) (NBD) produce a molecule that self-assemble in nanoparticles in biocompatible environment without any dramatic decrease of the fluorescence brightness. The resulting NPs show a brightness which is more than 6 orders of magnitude higher than the molecular component. Moreover, beside the particle are prepared by nanoprecipiation and they are stabilized only via non covalent interaction they are surprisingly stable and can be observed as individual bright spots freely diffusing in solution at a concentration as low as 1 nM. The suitability of the NP as biocompatible fluorescent probes was demonstrated in the case of HeLa cells by fluorescence confocal microscopy and MTS assays.

Keywords: fluorescence, Fluorecent probes, Nanopacticle, Nanoprecipitation, tracking

Received: 08 Nov 2018; Accepted: 05 Mar 2019.

Edited by:

José L. Capelo, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal

Reviewed by:

Anna ROIG, Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Barcelona (ICMAB), Spain
César Laia, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal  

Copyright: © 2019 Caponetti, Trzcinski, Cantelli, Tavano, Papini, Mancin and Montalti. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Marco Montalti, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy, marco.montalti2@unibo.it