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Biocompatible magnetic conjugated polymer nanoparticles for optical and lifetime imaging applications in the first biological window

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8193–8202
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Polymer Materials
Issue number11
Early online date12 Oct 2022
Accepted/In press4 Oct 2022
E-pub ahead of print12 Oct 2022
Published11 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The authors thank the Nikon Imaging Centre at King’s College London light microscopy for both live and fixed samples. They also thank Dr. Richard Thorogate at the London Centre of Nanotechnology for his assistance in analyzing the magnetic behavior of the CPNs containing SPIONs. They acknowledge ERC Starting (Consolidator) Grant 306659 (U.E., F.D.) and Wellcome Investigator Award 110060/Z/15/Z (U.E.) Publisher Copyright: © 2022 ACS Applied Polymer Materials. All right reserved.


King's Authors


Conjugated polymers are organic semiconductors that can be used for fluorescence microscopy of living specimens. Here, we report the encapsulation of the bright-red-emitting conjugated polymer, poly[{9,9-dihexyl-2,7-bis(1-cyanovinylene)fluorenylene}-alt-co-{2,5-bis(N,N′-diphenylamino)-1,4-phenylene}] (CN-FO-DPD), and superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) within poly(styrene-co-maleic anhydride) (PSMA) micelles. The resulting particles exhibited an emission peak at 657 nm, a fluorescence quantum yield of 21%, an average diameter of 65 nm, and a ζ potential of -30 mV. They are taken up by cells, and we describe their use in fluorescence microscopy of living Hela cells and zebrafish embryos and their associated cytotoxicity in HEK, HeLa, and HCE cells.

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