Better tissue penetration and lower overheating problems mean 808 nm near-infrared laser excited upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) have potential in bioapplications. Dumbbell-like structured NaYF4:Yb/Er@NaNdF4:Yb nanoparticles are fabricated in this work and applied in photodynamic therapy (PDT). The epitaxial growth along the c axis attributed to the large structure mismatch of NaNdF4 versus NaYF4 has been demonstrated to play a key role in the growth of the dumbbell structure. Due to better space separation in this structure, energy back-transfer from Er3+ to Nd3+ is prohibited partially, and the optimized Nd3+ doping concentration is up to 90% for a high UC emission intensity. PDT effects of these dumbbell-like structured UCNPs upon 808 nm laser irradiation were examined and compared with isotropic NaYF4:Yb/Er@NaYF4:Nd-0.2 core-shell and NaYF4:Yb/Er@NaYF4:Nd-0.2@NaYF4 core-shell-shell UCNPs. The results show that the dumbbell-like UCNPs are most effective in generating singlet oxygen (O-1(2)) and killing cancer cells in PDT though their UC emission intensity is lower than that of the core-shell-shell UCNPs. This research presents a simple yet valid strategy to balance the UCL efficiency and FRET efficiency, which may lead to better PDT therapeutic effect for cancer therapy.
1.Huazhong Univ Sci & Technol, Sch Mat Sci & Engn, State Key Lab Mat Proc & Die & Mould Technol, Wuhan 430074, Peoples R China 2.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst High Energy Phys, Key Lab Biomed Effects Nanomat & Nanosafety, Beijing 100049, Peoples R China 3.Chinese Acad Sci, Natl Ctr Nanosci & Technol, Beijing 100049, Peoples R China 4.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Chem, CAS Key Lab Photochem, BNLMS, Beijing 100190, Peoples R China