Single-photon-driven up-/down-conversion nanohybrids for: In vivo mercury detection and real-time tracking

Sung Eun Seo, Chul Soon Park, Seon Joo Park, Kyung Ho Kim, Jiyeon Lee, Jinyeong Kim, Sang Hun Lee, Hyun Seok Song, Tai Hwan Ha, Jae Hyuk Kim, Hee Won Yim, Hyoung Il Kim, Oh Seok Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


A multifunctional assay with up-/down-conversion (UC/DC) nanohybrids which enables the detection and real-time tracking of hazardous molecules has been developed for use in the field of photoluminescence (PL) point-of-care testing due to its cost and convenience. In particular, innovative approaches such as dual or multimodal imaging and detection under only a single-photon pulse system are highly difficult owing to the issues of device simplification and miniaturization. In this work, we first demonstrated single-photon-driven UC/DC dual-modal PL nanohybrids and showed their high performance in in vivo mercury detection and real-time tracking in a mussel simultaneously. Specifically, UC/DC nanohybrids capable of being stimulated by a single photon were presented via a facile and versatile strategy by combining DC fluorophores for heavy metal ion screening with triplet-triplet annihilation upconversion (TTA-UC) nanocapsules for real-time tracking. By adopting the advantages of the structural transformation of DC fluorophores and highly stable TTA-UC nanocapsules, the outstanding monitoring performance of a standard heavy metal ion (i.e. Hg2+) was achieved by a dual-modal PL assay with nanohybrids, exhibiting ultra-sensitivity (under 1 nM) and high-selectivity. Interestingly, their application in the real world was also remarkable in screening and tracking of mercury in mussels. This single-photon-driven UC/DC convergence system will provide powerful analytical methodologies for target detection and real-time tracking in vivo and will attract widespread attention from researchers in the fields of PL nanomaterials and fluorophores.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1668-1677
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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