Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.581, 21-30, 2021
Emission-tunable probes using terbium(III)-doped self-activated luminescent hydroxyapatite for in vitro bioimaging
Lanthanide ion (Ln(3+))-doped nanoscale hydroxyapatites (nHAp) with tunable luminescence have attracted increasing attention due to their potential applications as useful biomedical tools (e.g., imaging and clinical therapy). In this study, we reported that doping Terbium (III) ions (Tb3+) in self-activated luminescent nHAp via a facile hydrothermal reaction, using trisodium citrate (Cit(3+)), generates unique emission-tunable probes known as Cit/Tb-nHAp. The morphology, crystal phase, and luminescence properties of these Cit/Tb-nHAp probes are studied in detail. Moreover, the results demonstrate that the luminescence of self-activated nHAp originates from the carbon dots trapped within the nHAp crystals, in which partial energy transfer occurs from carbon dots (CDs) to Tb3+. The color tunability is successfully achieved by regulating the addition of Cit(3+). Biocompatibility study indicates that when co-cultured with C6 glioma cells in vitro for 3 days, <= 800 ppm Cit/Tb-nHAp is not cytotoxic for C6 glioma cells. We also present in vitro data showing efficient cytoplasmic localization of transferrin conjugated Cit/Tb-nHAp into C6 glioma cells by fluorescence cell imaging. We have successfully engineered Cit/Tb-nHAp, a promising biocompatible agent for future in vitro and in vivo fluorescence bioimaging. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.