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Open AccessArticle

Bifunctional Tm3+,Yb3+:GdVO4@SiO2 Core-Shell Nanoparticles in HeLa Cells: Upconversion Luminescence Nanothermometry in the First Biological Window and Biolabelling in the Visible

1
Fisica i Cristalografia de Materials i Nanomaterials (FiCMA-FiCNA)−EMaS, Universitat Rovira I Virgili (URV), Campus Sescelades, Marcelli Domingo 1, E-43007 Tarragona, Spain
2
Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid, Calle Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain
3
Fluorescence Imaging Group, Departamento de Fisica de Materiales, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
4
Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Campus de Cantoblanco, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 993; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050993
Received: 22 April 2020 / Revised: 15 May 2020 / Accepted: 17 May 2020 / Published: 21 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanosensors)
The bifunctional possibilities of Tm,Yb:GdVO4@SiO2 core-shell nanoparticles for temperature sensing by using the near-infrared (NIR)-excited upconversion emissions in the first biological window, and biolabeling through the visible emissions they generate, were investigated. The two emission lines located at 700 and 800 nm, that arise from the thermally coupled 3F2,3 and 3H4 energy levels of Tm3+, were used to develop a luminescent thermometer, operating through the Fluorescence Intensity Ratio (FIR) technique, with a very high thermal relative sensitivity. Moreover, since the inert shell surrounding the luminescent active core allows for dispersal of the nanoparticles in water and biological compatible fluids, we investigated the penetration depth that can be realized in biological tissues with their emissions in the NIR range, achieving a value of 0.8 mm when excited at powers of 50 mW. After their internalization in HeLa cells, a low toxicity was observed and the potentiality for biolabelling in the visible range was demonstrated, which facilitated the identification of the location of the nanoparticles inside the cells, and the temperature determination. View Full-Text
Keywords: luminescence thermometry; biological windows; biolabeling; core-shell nanoparticles; HeLa cells luminescence thermometry; biological windows; biolabeling; core-shell nanoparticles; HeLa cells
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MDPI and ACS Style

Savchuk, O.; Carvajal Marti, J.J.; Cascales, C.; Haro-Gonzalez, P.; Sanz-Rodríguez, F.; Aguilo, M.; Diaz, F. Bifunctional Tm3+,Yb3+:GdVO4@SiO2 Core-Shell Nanoparticles in HeLa Cells: Upconversion Luminescence Nanothermometry in the First Biological Window and Biolabelling in the Visible. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 993.

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