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Kiwifruit-like Persistent Luminescent Nanoparticles with High-Performance and in Situ Activable Near-Infrared Persistent Luminescence for Long-Term in Vivo Bioimaging

Lin, Xia-Hui, Song, Liang, Chen, Shan, Chen, Xiao-Feng, Wei, Jing-Jing, Li, Jingying, Huang, Guoming, Yang, Huang-Hao
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2017 v.9 no.47 pp. 41181-41187
X-radiation, biocompatibility, image analysis, light intensity, luminescence, nanoparticles, silica
Persistent luminescence nanoparticles (PLNPs) have great potential for bioimaging because they can eliminate the tissue autofluorescence and improve the signal-to-noise ratio significantly. High-temperature calcination is a necessary process for the PLNPs to achieve high luminescence intensity and long afterglow time. However, high-temperature calcination usually results in uncontrollable morphology and poor homogeneity of PLNPs, which greatly limit their applications. Therefore, there is still a high demand to find a suitable method for synthesizing PLNPs with high luminescence intensity and long afterglow time while maintaining their monodispersed morphology. Herein, we report a facile silica template method to synthesize PLNPs with a kiwifruit-like structure that can tolerate high-temperature calcination. The as-prepared kiwifruit-like SiO₂@ZnGa₂O₄:Cr³⁺@SiO₂ PLNPs have enhanced near-infrared persistent luminescence, uniform morphology and size, and good biocompatibility. Moreover, the SiO₂@ZnGa₂O₄:Cr³⁺@SiO₂ PLNPs can be repeatedly activated by soft X-rays in situ and emit near-infrared persistent luminescence with long decay time, holding great potential for deep-tissue and long-term in vivo bioimaging. We believe that this study will open new perspectives for synthesizing high-performance PLNPs for optical imaging and diversified applications.