Recent Advances in Inorganic Nanoparticle-Based NIR Luminescence Imaging: Semiconductor Nanoparticles and Lanthanide Nanoparticles
Several types of nanoparticle-based imaging probes have been developed to replace conventional luminescent probes. For luminescence imaging, near-infrared (NIR) probes are useful in that they allow deep tissue penetration and high spatial resolution as a result of reduced light absorption/scattering and negligible autofluorescence in biological media. They rely on either an anti-Stokes or a Stokes shift process to generate luminescence. For example, transition metal-doped semiconductor nanoparticles and lanthanide-doped inorganic nanoparticles have been demonstrated as anti-Stokes shift-based agents that absorb NIR light through two- or three-photon absorption process and upconversion process, respectively. On the other hand, quantum dots (QDs) and lanthanide-doped nanoparticles that emit in NIR-II range (∼1000 to ∼1350 nm) were suggested as promising Stokes shift-based imaging agents. In this topical review, we summarize and discuss the recent progress in the development of inorganic nanoparticle-based luminescence imaging probes working in NIR range. Graphic Abstract
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