Theranostics 2013; 3(4):267-274. doi:10.7150/thno.5226

Research Paper

Upconverting Organic Dye Doped Core-Shell Nano-Composites for Dual-Modality NIR Imaging and Photo-Thermal Therapy

Guobin Shan, Ralph Weissleder, Scott A. Hilderbrand

Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 185 Cambridge St, CPZN 5210, Boston, MA.

Abstract

Nanotechnology approaches offer the potential for creating new optical imaging agents with unique properties that enable uses such as combined molecular imaging and photo-thermal therapy. Ideal preparations should fluoresce in the near-infrared (NIR) region to ensure maximal tissue penetration depth along with minimal scattering and light absorption. Due to their unique photophysical properties, upconverting ceramics such as NaYF4:Er3+,Yb3+ nanoparticles have become promising optical materials for biological imaging. In this work, the design and synthesis of NaYF4:Er3+,Yb3+@SiO2 core-shell nano-composites, which contain highly absorbing NIR carbocyanine dyes in their outer silica shell, are described. These materials combine optical emission (from the upconverting core nanoparticle) with strong NIR absorption (from the carbocyanine dyes incorporated into the shell) to enable both optical imaging and photo-thermal treatment, respectively. Ultimately, this hybrid composite nanomaterial approach imparts the ability to both visualize, via upconversion imaging, and treat, via photo-thermal heating, using two distinct optical channels. Proof-of-principle in vitro experiments are presented to demonstrate the combined imaging and photo-thermal properties of this new functional nano-composite.

Keywords: Cell imaging, Core-shell, Dye, Nano-composites, Photo-thermal therapy, Up-conversion.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See http://ivyspring.com/terms for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Shan G, Weissleder R, Hilderbrand SA. Upconverting Organic Dye Doped Core-Shell Nano-Composites for Dual-Modality NIR Imaging and Photo-Thermal Therapy. Theranostics 2013; 3(4):267-274. doi:10.7150/thno.5226. Available from http://www.thno.org/v03p0267.htm