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Nanoscale. 2016 Jul 21;8(27):13399-406. doi: 10.1039/c6nr03171d. Epub 2016 Jun 27.

Lanthanide co-doped paramagnetic spindle-like mesocrystals for imaging and autophagy induction.

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Division of Nanomaterials & Chemistry, Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale, Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, P. R. China.


We synthesized two novel lanthanide doped spindle-like mesocrystals, YF3:Ce,Eu,Gd and YF3:Ce,Tb,Gd (abbreviated as YEG and YTG mesospindles, respectively). Both of them possess paramagnetic and fluorescent properties, and their excellent cyto-compatibility and low haemolysis are further confirmed. Therefore, they could act as dual mode contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorescence imaging. Furthermore, YEG and YTG mesospindles induce dose and time dependent autophagy by activating the PI3K signaling pathway. The autophagy induced by YEG and YTG mesocrystals is confirmed by enhanced autophagosome formation, normal cargo degradation, and no disruption of lysosomal function. This work is important to illustrate how rare-earth mesocrystals affect the autophagic pathway, indicating the potential of the YEG and YTG mesospindles in diagnosis and therapy.

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