Tunable Carbon-Dot-Based Dual-Emission Fluorescent Nanohybrids for Ratiometric Optical Thermometry in Living Cells

Chuanxi Wang, Huihui Lin, Zhenzhu Xu, Yijun Huang, Mark G. Humphrey, Chi Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    181 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The use of carbon-dot-based dual-emission fluorescent nanohybrids (DEFNs) as versatile nanothermometry devices for spatially resolved temperature measurements in living cells is demonstrated. The carbon dots (CDs) are prepared in the organic phase and display tunable photoluminescence (PL) across a wide visible range by adjusting the excitation wavelengths and extend of N-doping. DEFNs are formed in a straightforward fashion from CDs (emitting blue PL) and gold nanoclusters (AuNCs, emitting red PL). The DEFNs display ideal single-excitation, dual-emission with two well-resolved, intensity-comparable fluorescence peaks, and function in optical thermometry with high reliability and accuracy by exploiting the temperature sensitivity of their fluorescence intensity ratio (blue/red). Furthermore, the DEFNs have been introduced into cells, exhibiting good biocompatibility, and have facilitated physiological temperature measurements in the range of 25-45 °C; the DEFNs can therefore function as 'non-contact' tools for the accurate measurement of temperature and its gradient inside a living cell.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6621-6628
    Number of pages8
    JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
    Volume8
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2016

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