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Anal Chim Acta. 2013 Jul 17;787:193-202. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2013.05.022. Epub 2013 May 20.

In vivo imaging of the morphology and changes in pH along the gastrointestinal tract of Japanese medaka by photonic band-gap hydrogel microspheres.

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  • 1Advanced Laboratory for Environmental Research & Technology, USTC-CityU, Suzhou 215123, China.


Colloidal crystalline microspheres with photonic band-gap properties responsive to media pH have been developed for in vivo imaging purposes. These colloidal crystalline microspheres were constructed from monodispersed core-shell nano-size particles with poly(styrene-co-acrylic acid) (PS-co-PAA) cores and poly(acrylic acid-co-N-isopropylacrylamide) (PAA-co-PNIPAM) hydrogel shells cross-linked by N,N'-methylenebisacrylamide. A significant shift in the photonic band-gap properties of these colloidal crystalline microspheres was observed in the pH range of 4-5. This was caused by the discontinuous volume phase transition of the hydrogel coating, due to the protonation/deprotonation of its acrylic acid moieties, on the core-shell nano-sized particles within the microspheres. The in vivo imaging capability of these pH-responsive photonic microspheres was demonstrated on a test organism - Japanese medaka, Oryzia latipes - in which the morphology and change in pH along their gastrointestinal (GI) tracts were revealed under an ordinary optical microscope. This work illustrates the potential of stimuli-responsive photonic band-gap materials in tissue-/organ-level in vivo bio-imaging.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Gastrointestinal tract; In vivo imaging; Japanese medaka; Photonic band-gap microspheres; pH-responsive

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