Scalable synthesis of multicolour conjugated polymer nanoparticles via Suzuki-Miyaura polymerisation in a miniemulsion and application in bioimaging
journal contributionposted on 08.02.2017, 14:45 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
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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