Dye-Sensitized Core/Active Shell Upconversion Nanoparticles for Optogenetics and Bioimaging Applications

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology; Department of Neurobiology; Yang Xiang Lab; Lois Lab; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience Program

Publication Date


Document Type



Medicinal-Pharmaceutical Chemistry | Nanomedicine | Neuroscience and Neurobiology


Near-infrared (NIR) dye-sensitized upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) can broaden the absorption range and boost upconversion efficiency of UCNPs. Here, we achieved significantly enhanced upconversion luminescence in dye-sensitized core/active shell UCNPs via the doping of ytterbium ions (Yb(3+)) in the UCNP shell, which bridged the energy transfer from the dye to the UCNP core. As a result, we synergized the two most practical upconversion booster effectors (dye-sensitizing and core/shell enhancement) to amplify upconversion efficiency. We demonstrated two biomedical applications using these UCNPs. By using dye-sensitized core/active shell UCNP embedded poly(methyl methacrylate) polymer implantable systems, we successfully shifted the optogenetic neuron excitation window to a biocompatible and deep tissue penetrable 800 nm wavelength. Furthermore, UCNPs were water-solubilized with Pluronic F127 with high upconversion efficiency and can be imaged in a mouse model.


bioimaging, core/active shell structure, dye-sensitizing, near-infrared, optogenetics, upconversion nanoparticles

DOI of Published Version



ACS Nano. 2016 Jan 26;10(1):1060-6. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.5b06383. Epub 2016 Jan 11. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

ACS nano


Co-author Kendra Takle is a doctoral student in the Neuroscience Program in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at UMass Medical School.

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID