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J Biomed Opt. 2007 Nov-Dec;12(6):064007. doi: 10.1117/1.2823149.

Core-shell silica nanoparticles as fluorescent labels for nanomedicine.

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Cornell University, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.


Progress in biomedical imaging depends on the development of probes that combine low toxicity with high sensitivity, resolution, and stability. Toward that end, a new class of highly fluorescent core-shell silica nanoparticles with narrow size distributions and enhanced photostability, known as C dots, provide an appealing alternative to quantum dots. Here, C dots are evaluated with a particular emphasis on in-vivo applications in cancer biology. It is established that C dots are nontoxic at biologically relevant concentrations, and can be used in a broad range of imaging applications including intravital visualization of capillaries and macrophages, sentinel lymph node mapping, and peptide-mediated multicolor cell labeling for real-time imaging of tumor metastasis and tracking of injected bone marrow cells in mice. These results demonstrate that fluorescent core-shell silica nanoparticles represent a powerful novel imaging tool within the emerging field of nanomedicine.

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