Abstract: During the last decade inorganic luminescent nanoparticles that emit visible light under near infrared (NIR) excitation (in the biological window) have played a relevant role for high resolution imaging of cancer. Indeed, semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) and metal nanoparticles, mostly gold nanorods (GNRs), are already commercially available for this purpose. In this work we review the role which is being played by a relatively new class of nanoparticles, based on lanthanide ion doped nanocrystals, to target and image cancer cells using upconversion fluorescence microscopy. These nanoparticles are insulating nanocrystals that are usually doped with small percentages of two different rare earth (lanthanide) ions: The excited donor ions (usually Yb3+ ion) that absorb the NIR excitation and the acceptor ions (usually Er3+, Ho3+ or Tm3+), that are responsible for the emitted visible (or also near infrared) radiation. The higher conversion efficiency of these nanoparticles in respect to those based on QDs and GNRs, as well as the almost independent excitation/emission properties from the particle size, make them particularly promising for fluorescence imaging. The different approaches of these novel nanoparticles devoted to "in vitro" and "in vivo" cancer imaging, selective targeting and treatment are examined in this review.
Keywords: cancer; fluorescence imaging; lanthanide-doped nanocrystals; upconversion; targeting
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Naccache, R.; Rodríguez, E.M.; Bogdan, N.; Sanz-Rodríguez, F.; Cruz, M.C.I.; Fuente, Á.J.; Vetrone, F.; Jaque, D.; Solé, J.G.; Capobianco, J.A. High Resolution Fluorescence Imaging of Cancers Using Lanthanide Ion-Doped Upconverting Nanocrystals. Cancers 2012, 4, 1067-1105.
Naccache R, Rodríguez EM, Bogdan N, Sanz-Rodríguez F, Cruz MCI, Fuente ÁJ, Vetrone F, Jaque D, Solé JG, Capobianco JA. High Resolution Fluorescence Imaging of Cancers Using Lanthanide Ion-Doped Upconverting Nanocrystals. Cancers. 2012; 4(4):1067-1105.
Naccache, Rafik; Rodríguez, Emma Martín; Bogdan, Nicoleta; Sanz-Rodríguez, Francisco; Cruz, Maria del Carmen Iglesias de la; Fuente, Ángeles Juarranz de la; Vetrone, Fiorenzo; Jaque, Daniel; Solé, José García; Capobianco, John A. 2012. "High Resolution Fluorescence Imaging of Cancers Using Lanthanide Ion-Doped Upconverting Nanocrystals." Cancers 4, no. 4: 1067-1105.