Nanoparticles with Ultrabright Aggregation-Induced Emission for Immunoassays

Nanoparticles with Ultrabright Aggregation-Induced Emission for Immunoassays

Author: ChemistryViews

The accurate, sensitive, and rapid detection of analytes in complex samples using point-of-care testing (POCT) can be useful, e.g., in the diagnosis of diseases. Lateral flow immunoassays (LFIAs) can be useful in this context due to their simplicity, short analysis time, and low costs. However, the detection accuracy and sensitivity can be compromised by the low fluorescence quantum efficiency of the near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent probes that are used as signal labels.

Xiaolin Huang, Nanchang University, China, Rui Chen, Chongqing Medical University, China, Peizeng Yang, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, China, and colleagues have developed ultrabright NIR AIEgen nanoparticles (PS@AIE830NPs, pictured schematically above) made from polystyrene (PS) nanoparticles and an NIR aggregation-induced emission luminogen (AIEgen) with a maximum emission at 830 nm (AIE830, pictured above). This probe can be used for the accurate and sensitive detection of targets by LFIAs.

The team first designed AIE830 using benzobisthiadiazole as an acceptor and methoxyl-tetraphenylethene units as electron donors. Fluorescent nanoparticles (PS@AIE830NPs) were then prepared by encapsulating AIE830 into PS nanoparticles with sizes around 300 nm using an organic solvent swelling method.

The team found that the relative quantum yield (QY) of the PS@AIE830NPs is ca. 14.8 %, an improvement compared with that of, e.g., existing indocyanine green (ICG)-based NIR nanoparticles (4.1 %). The PS@AIE830NPs eliminate the background interference in complex samples, and they allow sensitive detection without any pre-treatment steps. According to the researchers, the developed ultrabright NIR AIEgen nanoparticles could serve as universally applicable signal probes for NIR-LFIA diagnostics.


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