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Anal Chem. 2005 Apr 15;77(8):2643-8.

Synthesis, characterization, and application of Eu(III), Tb(III), Sm(III), and Dy(III) lanthanide chelate nanoparticle labels.

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Department of Biotechnology, University of Turku, Tykistökatu 6, FIN-20520 Turku, Finland.


Preparation and characterization of europium(III), terbium(III), samarium(III), and dysprosium(III) polystyrene nanoparticle labels with lanthanide-specific fluorescence properties has been presented. Emulsion copolymerization of styrene and acrylic acid was used to synthesize uniform-sized nanoparticles approximately 45 nm in diameter. Europium(III) and samarium(III) lanthanides were chelated with 2-naphthoyltrifluoroacetone and trioctylphosphine oxide to dye the spherical particles, whereas terbium(III) and dysprosium(III) chelate complexes contained a newly synthesized ligand, 4-(2,4,6-tridecyloxyphenyl)pyridine-2,6-dicarboxylic acid. The fluorescence properties of the four lanthanides-including a wide Stokes shift, a narrow emission peak, and long fluorescence lifetime-were retained despite the incorporation into the nanoparticles. Furthermore, the nanoparticles, containing more than 1000 lanthanide chelates, were detectable at label concentrations 3 orders of magnitude lower than the corresponding soluble lanthanide chelate labels. The applicability of the labels prepared was demonstrated by a heterogeneous sandwich-type immunoassay for human prostate-specific antigen, where the lowest limits of detection of 1.6, 2.4, 10.1, and 114.2 ng/L were achieved using europium(III), terbium(III), samarium(III), and dysprosium(III) nanoparticles, respectively. The spectral and functional properties of the lanthanide-embedded polystyrene nanoparticles developed here suggest that the technology is applicable for high-sensitivity multicolor assays.

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