NIR-Fluorescent Multidye Silica Nanoparticles with Large Stokes Shifts for Versatile Biosensing Applications

  • Gala ChapmanEmail author
  • Gabor Patonay


We have synthesized and characterized of a series of single and multidye copolymerized nanoparticles with large to very large Stokes shifts (100 to 255 nm) for versatile applications as standalone or multiplexed probes in biological matrices. Nanoparticles were prepared via the Stöber method and covalently copolymerized with various combinations of three dyes, including one novel aminocyanine dye. Covalently encapsulated dyes exhibited no significant leakage from the nanoparticle matrix after more than 200 days of storage in ethanol. Across multiple batches of nanoparticles with varying dye content, the average yields and average radii were found to be highly reproducible. Furthermore, the batch to batch variability in the relative amounts of dye incorporated was small (relative standard deviations <2.3%). Quantum yields of dye copolymerized nanoparticles were increased 50% to 1000% relative to those of their respective dye-silane conjugates, and fluorescence intensities were enhanced by approximately three orders of magnitude. Prepared nanoparticles were surface modified with polyethylene glycol and biotin and bound to streptavidin microspheres as a proof of concept. Under single wavelength excitation, microsphere-bound nanoparticles displayed readily distinguishable fluorescence signals at three different emission wavelengths, indicating their potential applications to multicolor sensing. Furthermore, nanoparticles modified with polyethylene glycol and biotin demonstrated hematoprotective qualities and reduced nonspecific binding of serum proteins, indicating their potential suitability to in vivo imaging applications.


Fluorescent silica nanoparticles Resonance energy transfer Large stokes shift Near-infrared fluorescence Multicolor assay Biocompatible nanoparticles 



We would like to thank Dr. Robert Simmons for supplying TEM spectra, Sharon Flores and Gyliann Peña for providing hematology samples, Maksim Kvetny and Dr. Gangli Wang for assisting with fluorescence microscopy instrumentation and image collection, Dr. Rudolph Johnson for providing spectrofluorometer access, and Stephanie Negrete and Dr. Jonas Perez for facilitating the usage of this instrument. This research was supported in part with a Georgia State University Dissertation Grant.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10895_2018_2339_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (548 kb)
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

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