Low-bandgap biophotonic nanoblend: A platform for systemic disease targeting and functional imaging

Young Hun Seo, Min Ju Cho, Oug Jae Cheong, Woo Dong Jang, Tymish Y. Ohulchanskyy, Sangyoup Lee, Dong Hoon Choi, Paras N. Prasad, Sehoon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Photonic nanomaterials have found wide applications in theranostics. We introduce here a design of all-organic photonic nanoparticles, different from traditional ones, in which we utilize nanoblend of a low-bandgap π-conjugated polymer (LB-CP) and polystyrene as the photonic core, surrounded by an FDA-approved polymeric surfactant. This design provides capability for efficient deep tissue imaging using highly penetrating near-infrared (NIR) excitation and emission of LB-CP and also allows us to incorporate a NIR phosphorescent oxygen-sensitive dye in the core to serve as a dual-emissive probe for hypoxia imaging. These biophotonic nanoblend (BNB) particles (~20nm in diameter) show facile blood circulation, efficient disease targeting and minimal liver filtration as well as sustained renal excretion in the intravenously administered mouse models, as noninvasively visualized by the NIR emission signals. In diseased mouse models, pathological tissue deoxygenation at hypoxic sites was successfully detected with ratiometric spectral information. We also show that our nanoformulation exhibits no apparent toxicity, thus serving as a versatile biophotonics platform for diagnostic imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-233
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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