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Dalton Trans. 2013 Feb 7;42(5):1752-9. doi: 10.1039/c2dt31783d. Epub 2012 Nov 19.

Preparation and characterization of ZnS:Tb,Gd and ZnS:Er,Yb,Gd nanoparticles for bimodal magnetic-fluorescent imaging.

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  • 1Lab of Functional and Biomedical Nanomaterials, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Qingdao University of Science and Technology, Qingdao, 266042, China.


As bimodal magnetic-fluorescent imaging agents, the preparation of ZnS:Tb,Gd and ZnS:Er,Yb,Gd nanoparticles via a facile homogeneous precipitation method is reported. The results show that these nanoparticles are almost spherical in shape with a diameter of 100-200 nm approximately and a major phase of wurtzite-structured ZnS. The products can successfully label the human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells and present low toxicity even at concentrations up to 5 mg mL(-1). Additionally, for the ZnS:Er,Yb,Gd nanoparticles calcinated above 950 °C, NIR-to-visible up-conversion fluorescence were obtained, which is believed to be superior to traditional ZnS-based bioimaging agents with down conversion. In MRI studies, they reveal a longitudinal relaxivity rate (r(1)) of 39.46 mM(-1) s(-1) and 57.8 mM(-1) s(-1), respectively, which are much larger than the conventional Gd-DTPA and currently reported Gd-base nanoparticles, suggesting great potential as MRI agents.

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