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Probes functioning in the second near-infrared window (1000-1700 nm, NIR-II) exhibit higher resolution and diminished auto-fluorescence compared to those in the traditional NIR region (700-950 nm). Here, we designed and synthesized rare earth ion doped probes with core/shell/shell structures and bright luminescence in the NIR-II region excited at 808 nm. With the doping of Ce3+ ions, the emission intensity of Er3+ at 1530 nm increased 10 times, while the upconversion luminescence decreased to less than 1%. After being modified with polyacrylic acid and polyethylene glycol, the as-obtained water-soluble probe exhibits continuous high-resolution for distinguishing 0.25 mm blood vessels even 10 h after injection. Noteworthily, the imaging of tumors was achieved by injecting the probe, indicating that the designed NIR-II probe has sufficient brightness and the ability to passively target tumor tissue.


Cong Cao, Na Wu, Wei Yuan, Yuyang Gu, Jiaming Ke, Wei Feng, Fuyou Li. Ln3+-doped nanoparticles with enhanced NIR-II luminescence for lighting up blood vessels in mice. Nanoscale. 2020 Apr 21;12(15):8248-8254

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PMID: 32239032

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