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Upconversion System with Quantum Dots as Sensitizer: Improved Photoluminescence and PDT Efficiency

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-10-25, 20:45 authored by Dan Song, Siyu Chi, Xin Li, Caixia Wang, Zhen Li, Zhihong Liu
Upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) are prospective platforms for bioimaging and phototherapy, but a critical bottleneck is the limited brightness due to the faint absorptivity of lanthanide ions and the low quantum yield. To circumvent this problem, we herein propose our strategy to reconstruct the energy cascade of UCNPs using semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) as light sensitizer of Nd3+/Yb3+ codoped UCNPs. Ag2Se QDs with strong absorption at 808 nm acted as efficient antenna and transferred their energy to Yb3+ via a resonance energy transfer process, significantly enhancing the luminescence of UCNPs. This nanocomposite was then combined with Rose Bengal and applied for photodynamic therapy. Both in vitro and in vivo studies revealed the introduction of QDs improved the therapeutic performance remarkably. Our study suggests Ag2Se QDs with excellent photophysical properties can be promising agents to overcome the shortcomings of UCNPs and further strengthen their applications.