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Carbon Dots and Terbium Co-Enhanced Fluorescence of Europium Nanoparticles for Cell Imaging

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Eu(III) and Tb(III) ions were doped into carbon dots (C dots) for the preparation of C:EuTb nanoparticles (C:EuTb NPs) via one-pot synthesis. Because of the dual energy transfer effects from C dots and Tb(III) ion to Eu(III) ion, the fluorescence of Eu(III) in C:EuTb NPs is enhanced 336.8-fold without any antenna molecules. The intense fluorescence of C:EuTb NPs is not easily quenched in aqueous solutions due to the insertion of Eu(III) ions into C dots, which reduces the quenching from water molecules, overcoming the weakness of fluorescence quenching of lanthanide materials in water. Not only in aqueous solution, solid C:EuTb NPs also present strong fluorescence because of the doped structure. The cytotoxicity of C:EuTb NPs is determined by an MTT (thiazolyl blue) assay for human breast adenocarcinoma cell line (MCF-7) cells. C:EuTb NPs show excellent biological safety; the viability of MCF-7 is more than 90% even at a concentration of 1250 μg¬∑mL–1 of C:EuTb NPs. MCF-7 cells stained with C:EuTb NPs display distinct red fluorescence in the fluorescent field of microscope. C:EuTb NPs are promising to be used as a red coloring agent for biological observations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2018

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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