Fluorescent organic nanoparticles (FONs) are emerging as an attractive alternative to the well-established fluorescent inorganic nanoparticles or small organic dyes. Their proper design allows one to obtain biocompatible probes with superior brightness and high photostability, although usually affected by low colloidal stability. Herein, we present a type of FONs with outstanding photophysical and physicochemical properties in-line with the stringent requirements for biomedical applications. These FONs are based on quatsome (QS) nanovesicles containing a pair of fluorescent carbocyanine molecules that give rise to Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET). Structural homogeneity, high brightness, photostability, and high FRET efficiency make these FONs a promising class of optical bioprobes. Loaded QSs have been used for in vitro bioimaging, demonstrating the nanovesicle membrane integrity after cell internalization, and the possibility to monitor the intracellular vesicle fate. Taken together, the proposed QSs loaded with a FRET pair constitute a promising platform for bioimaging and theranostics.
Dye-Loaded Quatsomes Exhibiting FRET as Nanoprobes for Bioimaging / Morla-Folch, J.; Vargas-Nadal, G.; Zhao, T.; Sissa, C.; Ardizzone, A.; Kurhuzenkau, S.; Kober, M.; Uddin, M.; Painelli, A.; Veciana, J.; Belfield, K. D.; Ventosa, N.. - In: ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES. - ISSN 1944-8252. - 12:18(2020), pp. 20253-20262. [10.1021/acsami.0c03040]