Scalable synthesis of multicolour conjugated polymer nanoparticles via Suzuki-Miyaura polymerisation in a miniemulsion and application in bioimaging
journal contributionposted on 08.02.2017 by Jonathan M. Behrendt, Jair A. Esquivel Guzman, Laura Purdie, Helen Willcock, John J. Morrison, Andrew B. Foster, Rachel K. O'Reilly, Mark C. McCairn, Michael L. Turner
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Suzuki cross-coupling polymerisation of aryldibromides and aryldiboronate esters in a sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-stabilised miniemulsion provides a versatile and direct route to fluorescent conjugated polymer nanoparticles (CPNs). These nanoparticles have a conjugated backbone based on poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene) (PFO), however, significant structural diversity is introduced by incorporation of electron withdrawing, heterocyclic comonomers (5–50 mol.%) in order to tune the emission wavelengths from blue to far-red/near-infrared. The robust nature of the polymerisation methodology allows for rapid assessment of the relationship between polymer composition, chain morphology and optical properties of the resultant CPNs. Moreover, the CPNs (after a simple and rapid purification step) can be used directly in fluorescence-based intracellular labelling experiments (in HCT116 cells), in which they display low cytotoxicity at biologically-useful concentrations.
The authors thank the University of Manchester Intellectual Property for award of Proof of Principle funding and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (grant number EP/K039547/1). A.B.F. would like to acknowledge funding from the Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC). J.A.E.G. acknowledges Conacyt for award of a PhD scholarship.
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