In modern biosensing and imaging, fluorescence-based methods constitute the most diffused approach to achieve optimal detection of analytes, both in solution and on the single-particle level. Despite the huge progresses made in recent decades in the development of plasmonic biosensors and label-free sensing techniques, fluorescent molecules remain the most commonly used contrast agents to date for commercial imaging and detection methods. However, they exhibit low stability, can be difficult to functionalise, and often result in a low signal-to-noise ratio. Thus, embedding fluorescent probes into robust and bio-compatible materials, such as silica nanoparticles, can substantially enhance the detection limit and dramatically increase the sensitivity. In this work, ultra-small fluorescent silica nanoparticles (NPs) for optical biosensing applications were doped with a fluorescent dye, using simple water-based sol-gel approaches based on the classical Stober procedure. By systematically modulating reaction parameters, controllable size tuning of particle diameters as low as 10 nm was achieved. Particles morphology and optical response were evaluated showing a possible single-molecule behaviour, without employing microemulsion methods to achieve similar results.

Ultra-small dye-doped silica nanoparticles via modified sol-gel technique

F. Enrichi
2018

Abstract

In modern biosensing and imaging, fluorescence-based methods constitute the most diffused approach to achieve optimal detection of analytes, both in solution and on the single-particle level. Despite the huge progresses made in recent decades in the development of plasmonic biosensors and label-free sensing techniques, fluorescent molecules remain the most commonly used contrast agents to date for commercial imaging and detection methods. However, they exhibit low stability, can be difficult to functionalise, and often result in a low signal-to-noise ratio. Thus, embedding fluorescent probes into robust and bio-compatible materials, such as silica nanoparticles, can substantially enhance the detection limit and dramatically increase the sensitivity. In this work, ultra-small fluorescent silica nanoparticles (NPs) for optical biosensing applications were doped with a fluorescent dye, using simple water-based sol-gel approaches based on the classical Stober procedure. By systematically modulating reaction parameters, controllable size tuning of particle diameters as low as 10 nm was achieved. Particles morphology and optical response were evaluated showing a possible single-molecule behaviour, without employing microemulsion methods to achieve similar results.
Silica nanoparticles
Dye doping
Luminescence
Biosensing
Bioimaging applications
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1064337
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