Description of the activity
Luminescent imaging probes based on silicon nanostructures have gained much recent attention as biocompatible and biodegradable alternative to conventional heavy metal (e.g., lead or cadmium)-based semiconductor nanocrystals, still retaining reduced photobleaching relatively to organic dyes and eventually tunable emission in the red-NIR region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Nevertheless, due to the indirect nature of bulk silicon bandgap, silicon nanocrystals have a distinctively long radiative lifetime (μs range) which makes them prone to their use in time-gated luminescence imaging. In particular, porous silicon nanoparticles (PSiNPs) fabricated by electrochemical etching are nontoxic photoluminescent agents whose potential for in vitro and in vivo applications has been widely reported in the last years.
Recently, we demonstrated the use of highly luminescent polymer-coated PSiNPs as label- free probes for in vivo imaging in Hydra vulgaris organism by time-gated luminescence.
National and International Collaborations
University of Naples “Federico II” (Department of Physics “E. Pancini”)
Université de Tours/CNRS (Greman UMR 7347, INSA-CVL)
Functional nanomaterials and interfaces Lab
Optical characterization and biosensors Lab