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Nanoscale. 2013 Feb 21;5(4):1369-84. doi: 10.1039/c2nr33239f.

Lanthanide-doped luminescent nano-bioprobes: from fundamentals to biodetection.

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Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials Chemistry and Physics, Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Fuzhou, Fujian 350002, China.


Trivalent lanthanide (Ln(3+))-doped luminescent inorganic nanoparticles (NPs), characterized by long-lived luminescence, large Stokes and/or anti-Stokes shifts, narrow emission bands and high photochemical stability, are considered to be promising candidates as luminescent bioprobes in biomedicine and biotechnology. In this feature article, we provide a brief overview of the most recent advances in Ln(3+)-doped luminescent inorganic NPs as sensors, which covers from their chemical and physical fundamentals to biodetection, such as controlled synthesis methodology, surface modification chemistry, optical physics, and their promising applications in diverse bioassays, with an emphasis on heterogeneous and homogeneous in vitro biodetection. Finally, some of the most important emerging trends and future efforts toward this active research field are also proposed.

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