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Lanthanide-Based Upconversion Nanoparticles for Connexin-Targeted Imaging in Co-cultures

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From the perspective of deep tissue imaging, it is required that the excitation light can penetrate deep enough to excite the sample of interest and the fluorescence emission is strong enough to be detected. The longer wavelengths like near infrared are absorbed less by the tissue and are scattered less implying deeper penetration. This has drawn interest to the class of nanoparticles called upconversion nanoparticles (UCNs) which has an excitation in the near-infrared wavelength and the emission is in the visible/near-infrared wavelength (depending on the doped ions). Here, we discuss surface modification of the UCNs to make them hydrophilic allowing dispersion in physiological buffers and enabling conjugation of antibody to their surface. It was of interest to use connexin 43 gap junction protein-specific antibody on UCNs to target cardiac cell such as H9c2 and co-culture of bone marrow stem cells and H9c2.
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