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Open AccessReview

Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticles for Bioimaging

1
Institute for Materials Research (IMO-IMOMEC), Design & Synthesis of Organic Semiconductors (DSOS), UHasselt—Hasselt University, Agoralaan, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
2
Associated Lab IMOMEC, IMEC, Wetenschapspark 1, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
3
Institute for Materials Research (IMO-IMOMEC), Nanobiophysics and Soft Matter Interfaces (NSI), UHasselt—Hasselt University, Agoralaan, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2017, 10(12), 1420; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma10121420
Received: 9 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Conjugated Polymers for Bioimaging and Biosensing)
During the last decade, conjugated polymers have emerged as an interesting class of fluorescence imaging probes since they generally show high fluorescence brightness, high photostability, fast emission rates, non-blinking behavior and low cytotoxicity. The main concern related to most conjugated polymers is their lack of hydrophilicity and thereby poor bio-availability. This can, however, be overcome by the formulation of conjugated polymer nanoparticles in aqueous medium. This review provides an overview of the different techniques employed for the preparation of conjugated polymer nanoparticles, together with methods to improve their photoluminescence quantum yields. For selective targeting of specific cells, dedicated surface functionalization protocols have been developed, using different functional groups for ligand immobilization. Finally, conjugated polymer nanoparticles have recently also been employed for theranostic applications, wherein the particles are simultaneously used as fluorescent probes and carriers for anti-tumor drugs. View Full-Text
Keywords: conjugated polymers; nanoparticles; fluorescence; bioimaging conjugated polymers; nanoparticles; fluorescence; bioimaging
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MDPI and ACS Style

Braeken, Y.; Cheruku, S.; Ethirajan, A.; Maes, W. Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticles for Bioimaging. Materials 2017, 10, 1420.

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