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3D Long-Range Triplet Migration in a Water-Stable Metal–Organic Framework for Upconversion-Based Ultralow-Power in Vivo Imaging
- Park, Jihye, Xu, Ming, Li, Fuyou, Zhou, Hong-Cai
- Journal of the American Chemical Society 2018 v.140 no.16 pp. 5493-5499
- coordination polymers, harvesting, image analysis, lymph nodes, mice, photons, solar cells
- Triplet–triplet annihilation upconversion (TTA-UC) has gained increasing attention because it allows for harvesting of low-energy photons in the solar spectrum with high efficiency in relevant applications including solar cells and bioimaging. However, the utilization of conventional TTA-UC systems for low-power bioapplications is significantly hampered by their general incompatibility and low efficiency in aqueous media. Herein we report a metal–organic framework (MOF) as a biocompatible nanoplatform for TTA-UC to realize low-power in vivo imaging. Our MOF consists of a porphyrinic sensitizer in an anthracene-based Zr-MOF as a TTA-UC platform. In particular, closely aligned chromophores in the MOF facilitate a long-range 3D triplet diffusion of 1.6 μm allowing efficient energy migration in water. The tunable ratio between sensitizer and annihilator by our synthetic method also allows an optimization of the system for maximized TTA-UC efficiency in water at a very low excitation power density. Consequently, the low-power imaging of lymph node in a live mouse was successfully demonstrated with an excellent signal-to-noise ratio (SNR > 30 at 5 mW cm–²).