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Chem Soc Rev. 2006 Nov;35(11):1028-42. Epub 2006 Sep 15.

Fluorescent core-shell silica nanoparticles: towards "Lab on a Particle" architectures for nanobiotechnology.

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  • 1Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Novel nanoscale fluorescent materials are integral to the progress of emergent fields such as nanobiotechnology and facilitate new research in a variety of contexts. Sol-gel derived silica is an excellent host material for creating fluorescent nanoparticles by the inclusion of covalently-bound organic dyes. Significant enhancements in the brightness and stability of organic dye emission can be achieved for silica-based core-shell nanoparticle architectures at length scales down to tens of nanometers with narrow size distributions. This tutorial review will highlight these findings and describe the evolution of the fluorescent core-shell silica nanoparticle concept towards integration of multiple functionalities including mesoporosity, metal nanoshells and quantitative chemical sensing. These developments point towards the development of "lab on a particle" architectures with promising prospects for nanobiotechnology, drug development and beyond.

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