An exceptionally simple strategy for DNA-functionalized Up-conversion nanoparticles as biocompatible agents for nanoassembly, DNA delivery, and imaging

Le Le Li, Peiwen Wu, Kevin Hwang, Yi Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Lanthanide-doped up-conversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) have shown promise in biomedical applications. However, as the UCNPs are normally capped with hydrophobic ligands, it remains challenging to prepare biocompatible UCNPs with specific molecular recognition capabilities. We herein report an exceptionally simple strategy to prepare uniform DNA-modified UCNPs as versatile bioprobes. The approach can directly convert as-prepared hydrophobic UCNPs into water-soluble DNA-UCNPs without any chemical modification of UCNPs or oligonucleotides. Furthermore, DNA molecules on the DNA-UCNPs retain their biorecognition ability, allowing programmable assembly of hybrid nanostructures. More importantly, we show that these DNA-UCNPs are capable of crossing cell membranes without the need of transfection agents, and their use as agents for bioimaging and DNA delivery are also demonstrated. Finally, DNA aptamer-conjugated UCNPs can be readily used for targeted imaging of cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2411-2414
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume135
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 20 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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