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Amplified Fluorescence from Polyfluorene Nanoparticles with Dual State Emission and Aggregation Caused Red Shifted Emission for Live Cell Imaging and Cancer Theranostics

Muthuraj, Balakrishnan, Mukherjee, Sudip, Patra, Chitta Ranjan, Iyer, Parameswar Krishnan
ACS applied materials 2016 v.8 no.47 pp. 32220-32229
cytotoxicity, fluorescence, image analysis, nanoparticles, neoplasm cells, neoplasms, polymers, therapeutics
A newly synthesized polyfluorene derivative with pendant di(2-picolyl)amine (PF–DPA) shows dual state emission and aggregation caused red shifted emission that was utilized for cell imaging and cancer theranostics. PF–DPA was nontoxic to normal cells but showed cytotoxicity against cancer cells, suggesting its utility for cancer therapy. PF–DPA exhibits a large and unique red shifted emission at 556 nm at higher water ratio of THF:H₂O (10:90) due to the formation of polymer nanoparticles or PDots spontaneously by intra- and intermolecular self-assembly induced aggregation. Dual state emission and aggregation caused red shifted emission (>100 nm) in PF–DPA homopolymer nanoparticles is very unique and attributed to the combined effect of intramolecular planarization and J-type aggregate formation in the PDots (25 ± 5 nm). The PF–DPA PDots exhibit bright green and orange fluorescence with exceptional live cell imaging properties and potential applications in cancer theranostics due to their selective cytotoxic nature toward cancer cells.