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Upconverting Phosphor Labels for Bioanalytical Assays

  • Terhi Riuttamäki (née Rantanen)Email author
  • Tero Soukka
Chapter
Part of the Bioanalytical Reviews book series (BIOREV, volume 1)

Abstract

Upconverting phosphors (UCPs) are photoluminescent inorganic crystals capable of photon upconversion upon absorption of two or more sequential photons. UCPs produce bright, structured emission at wavelengths shorter than the excitation radiation rendering them highly advanced labels for bioanalytical assays. The exceptional anti-Stokes emission allows total elimination of autofluorescence originating mainly from biomolecules and other sample components. UCPs are excited with near-infrared radiation which provides several advantages over ultraviolet excitation—including optimal penetration of biological material. This chapter summarizes the bioanalytical in vitro applications of UCPs and discusses the advantages and challenges of the emerging label technology. In addition, synthesis of the UCP labels and some of the instruments used for UCP detection are shortly reviewed. Bioimaging and therapeutic applications based on UCPs are outside of the scope of this chapter.

Keywords

Bioanalytics Lanthanides Nanoparticles Near-infrared excitation Photon upconversion Upconverting phosphors 

Abbreviations

APTE

Addition of photons by transfer of energy (upconversion mechanism)

CCD

Charge-coupled device (light detector)

CTAB

Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (cationic surfactant)

EDTA

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (chelating agent)

ELISA

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

EMU

Energy migration-mediated upconversion (upconversion mechanism)

ESA

Excited state absorption (upconversion mechanism)

ETU

Energy transfer upconversion (upconversion mechanism)

f-PSA

Free prostate-specific antigen (prostate cancer marker)

GSA

Ground-state absorption

LD

Laser diode (excitation source)

LED

Light emitting diode (excitation source)

LF

Lateral flow (assay format)

LOD

Limit of detection

LOQ

Limit of quantification

LRET

Lanthanide resonance energy transfer

NIR

Near-infrared radiation (wavelength 750–1,400 nm)

PA

Photon avalanche (upconversion mechanism)

PD

Photodiode (light detector)

PEI

Polyethyleneimine

PMT

Photomultiplier tube (light detector)

POCT

Point-of-care testing

PVP

Polyvinylpyrrolidone

R0

Förster radius (the distance at which energy transfer efficiency is 50 %)

RET

Resonance energy transfer (nonradiative energy transfer mechanism)

SEB

Staphylococcal enterotoxin B

SET

Surface energy transfer (energy transfer to a metallic surface)

TEM

Transmission electron microscopy

TOP

Trioctylphosphine

TOPO

Trioctylphosphine oxide

UCP

Upconverting phosphor (photoluminescent inorganic compound)

UC-RET

Upconversion resonance energy transfer

UV

Ultraviolet radiation (wavelength <380 nm)

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank Dr. Paul Corstjens and Jan Slats (Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands) for microscopy examination of the PTIR550/F material. Financial support from the Research Executive Agency (REA) of the European Union under Grant Agreement number PITN-GA-2010-264772 (ITN CHEBANA) is gratefully acknowledged.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terhi Riuttamäki (née Rantanen)
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tero Soukka
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  2. 2.Kaivogen OyTurkuFinland

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