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SCIENCE CHINA Materials, Volume 60, Issue 9: 881-891(2017) https://doi.org/10.1007/s40843-017-9101-5

Ethylene glycol-mediated synthetic route for production of luminescent silicon nanorod as photodynamic therapy agent

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  • ReceivedMay 31, 2017
  • AcceptedAug 16, 2017
  • PublishedSep 5, 2017

Abstract

One-dimensional silicon nanorod (SiNR) has attracted considerable interest because of its unique morphology and electronic-optical properties that render SiNRs suitable for a broad spectrum of applications, such as field-effect transistor, drug carrier, solar cell, nanomechanical device, and lithium-ion battery. However, studies aiming to identify a new synthetic method and apply SiNR in the biomedical field remain limited. This study is the first to use an ethylene glycol-mediated synthetic route to prepare SiNR as a multicolor fluorescent probe and a new photodynamic therapy (PDT) agent. The as-prepared SiNR demonstrates bright fluorescence, excellent storage and photostability, favorable biocompatibility, excitation-dependent emission, and measurable quantity of 1O2 (0.24). On the basis of these features, we demonstrate through in vitro studies that the SiNR can be utilized as a new nanophotosensitizer for fluorescence imaging-guided cancer treatment. Our work leads to a new production process for SiNRs that can be used not only as PDT agents for therapy of shallow tissue cancer but also as excellent, environment-friendly, and red light-induced photocatalysts for the degradation of persistent organic pollutants in the future.


Funded by

National Natural Science Foundation of China(51472252,51572269)

Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDB17030400)


Acknowledgment

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51472252 and 51572269) and the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDB17030400).


Interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


Contributions statement

Ge J and Wang P proposed and designed the project. Ge J, Jia Q, Liu Q and Chen M synthesized the SiNRs, designed and carried out the experiments, and wrote the manuscript. Liu W and Zhang H analyzed the data.


Author information

Qingyan Jia is now a PhD candidate at the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. His current research is focused on the preparation of nanomaterials for phototherapy of cancer.


Jiechao Ge is currently a full professor at the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. His research interests mainly concentrate on the synthesis of nanomaterials and their applications in phototheranostics and photocatalysts.


Qingyun Liu is currently a full professor at the College of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Shandong University of Science and Technology. Her research interests mainly focus on the preparation of porphyrin/phthyana-inorganic nanocomposites and their application in photocatalysts.


Supplement

Supplementary information

Supporting data are available in the online version of the paper.


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  • Figure 1

    Preparation of SiNRs. (a) Schematic illustration of EG-mediated synthesis of SiNRs. TEM images of the as-prepared SiNRs with different SiCl4 to EG molar ratios: (b) 1:600, (c) 1:400, and (d) 1:200. High-resolution TEM (HRTEM) images of the as-prepared SiNRs with different SiCl4 to EG molar ratios: (e) 1:600, (f) 1:400, and (g) 1:200.

  • Figure 2

    Structural characterization of SiNRs. (a) XRD pattern of the as-prepared SiNRs. (b) FTIR spectra of the as-prepared SiNRs. (c) XPS of the as-prepared SiNRs and Si 2p. (d) Nitrogen adsorption/desorption isotherm and pore-size distribution curve of the SiNRs.

  • Figure 3

    Photochemical property of SiNRs. (a) Absorption spectra of SiNRs. (b) Normalized photoluminescent (PL) emission spectra of SiNRs. (c) pH-dependent PL emission of the as-prepared SiNRs (pH 4‒11). (d) Temporal evolution of the PL spectra of the as-prepared SiNRs in air under cryopreservation. (e) Time-dependent stability comparison of fluorescence signals of HeLa cells labeled by FITC (left) and SiNRs (right) under irradiation of 488-nm laser.

  • Figure 4

    Photophysical property of the SiNRs. (a) The electron spin resonance (ESR) signals of spin traps reacting with 1O2 obtained upon 635-nm laser irradiation of SiNR solution for 10 min in the presence of 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine (TEMP). (b) Photodegradation of Na2-ADPA with MB under 635-nm laser irradiation. (c) Photodegradation of Na2-ADPA with SiNRs under 635-nm laser irradiation. (d) Decay curves of Na2-ADPA absorption at 378 nm as a function of time in the presence of SiNRs and MB upon 635-nm laser irradiation.

  • Figure 5

    In vitro fluorescence imaging and PDT. (a) Confocal microscopic images of HeLa cells incubated with SiNRs (400 µg mL−1) for 4 h at bright field and exicitation at 488 nm. Scale bars: 20 µm. (b) Relative viability of HeLa cells incubated with various concentrations of SiNRs under dark or irradiation using a 635-nm laser (50 mW cm−2) for 20 min. (c) Time-dependent confocal images of calcein AM (green)/ PI (red)-stained HeLa cells incubated with 400 µg mL−1 SiNRs under 635-nm laser irradiation (50 mW cm−2) for different times (0‒20min). Scale bars: 100 µm.

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