Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.529, No.4, 930-935, 2020
Aqueous synthesis of PEGylated Ag2S quantum dots and their in vivo tumor targeting behavior
With significantly decreased light scattering and tissue autofluorescence, fluorescence imaging in the second near infrared (NIR-II, 1000-1700 nm) region has been heavily explored in biomedical field recently. Silver sulfide quantum dots (Ag2S QDs) with unique optical properties were one of the most classic NIR-II imaging probes. However, the Ag2S QDs for in vivo purpose were mainly obtain by oil phase-based high-temperature route at present. Here, we proposed a mild aqueous route to prepare NIR-II emissive Ag2S QDs for in vivo tumor imaging. Original Ag2S QDs was obtained by mixing sodium sulfide and silver nitrate in a thiol-terminated polyethylene glycol (mPEG-SH) solution. Treating the original Ag2S QDs with extra mPEG-SH ligands produced highly PEGyalted Ag2S QDs. These re-PEGylated Ag2S QDs exhibited much better blood circulation and tumor accumulation in vivo comparing with the original ones, which can serve as excellent tumor imaging probes. The whole-body blood vessel imaging of living mice was achieved with high resolution, the bio-distribution of these QDs were studied by NIR-II imaging as well. This work also highlighted the importance of ligand density for tumor targeting. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.