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Molecules 2015, 20(3), 4369-4382; doi:10.3390/molecules20034369

Self-Assembled Polyelectrolyte Nanoparticles as Fluorophore-Free Contrast Agents for Multicolor Optical Imaging

1,†
,
2,†
and
2,*
1
Center for Chemical analysis, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), Daejeon 305-600, Korea
2
SKKU Advanced Institute of Nanotechnology (SAINT), School of Chemical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Korea
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Didier Astruc
Received: 17 February 2015 / Revised: 2 March 2015 / Accepted: 3 March 2015 / Published: 9 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection Nanomedicine)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2241 KB, uploaded 9 March 2015]   |  

Abstract

In this work, we describe the fabrication of self-assembled polyelectrolyte nanoparticles that provide a multicolor optical imaging modality. Poly(γ-glutamic acid)(γ-PGA) formed self-assembled nanoparticles through electrostatic interactions with two different cationic polymers: poly(L-lysine)(PLL) and chitosan. The self-assembled γ-PGA/PLL and γ-PGA/chitosan nanoparticles were crosslinked by glutaraldehyde. Crosslinking of the ionic self-assembled nanoparticles with glutaraldehyde not only stabilized the nanoparticles but also generated a strong autofluorescence signal. Fluorescent Schiff base bonds (C=N) and double bonds (C=C) were generated simultaneously by crosslinking of the amine moiety of the cationic polyelectrolytes with monomeric glutaraldehyde or with polymeric glutaraldehyde. The unique optical properties of the nanoparticles that resulted from the crosslinking by glutaraldehyde were analyzed using UV/Vis and fluorescence spectroscopy. We observed that the fluorescence intensity of the nanoparticles could be regulated by adjusting the crosslinker concentration and the reaction time. The nanoparticles also exhibited high performance in the labeling and monitoring of therapeutic immune cells (macrophages and dendritic cells). These self-assembled nanoparticles are expected to be a promising multicolor optical imaging contrast agent for the labeling, detection, and monitoring of cells. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanoparticles; optical imaging; self-assembly; cell labeling nanoparticles; optical imaging; self-assembly; cell labeling
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Shin, D.H.; Heo, M.B.; Lim, Y.T. Self-Assembled Polyelectrolyte Nanoparticles as Fluorophore-Free Contrast Agents for Multicolor Optical Imaging. Molecules 2015, 20, 4369-4382.

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