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Visible and NIR Upconverting Er3+–Yb3+ Luminescent Nanorattles and Other Hybrid PMO‐Inorganic Structures for In Vivo Nanothermometry

Kaczmarek, Anna M.; Suta, Markus; Rijckaert, Hannes; Abalymov, Anatolii; Van Driessche, Isabel; Skirtach, Andre G.; Meijerink, Andries; Van Der Voort, Pascal

Lanthanide-doped luminescent nanoparticles are an appealing system for nanothermometry with biomedical applications due to their sensitivity, reliability and minimally invasive thermal sensing properties. Here, we propose four unique hybrid organic-inorganic materials prepared by combining β-NaGdF4 and PMOs (Periodic Mesoporous Organosilica) or mSiO2 (mesoporous silica). PMO/mSiO2 materials are excellent candidates for biological/biomedical applications as they show high biocompatibility with the human body. On the other hand, the β-NaGdF4 matrix is an excellent host for doping lanthanide ions, even at very low concentrations with yet very efficient luminescence properties. We propose a new type of Er3+-Yb3+ upconversion luminescence nanothermometers operating both in the visible and near infrared regime. Both spectral ranges permit promising thermometry performance even in aqueous environment. It is additionally confirmed that these hybrid materials are non-toxic to cells, which makes them very promising candidates for real biomedical thermometry applications. In several of these materials the presence of additional voids leaves space for future theranostic or combined thermometry and drug delivery applications in the hybrid nanostructures.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 FET Open programme under grant agreement No 801305 (NanoTBTech).
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