Spectroscopic characterization of coumarin-stained beads: quantification of the number of fluorophores per particle with solid-state 19F-NMR and measurement of absolute fluorescence quantum yields.
ABSTRACT The rational design of nano- and micrometer-sized particles with tailor-made optical properties for biological, diagnostic, and photonic applications requires tools to characterize the signal-relevant properties of these typically scattering bead suspensions. This includes methods for the preferably nondestructive quantification of the number of fluorophores per particle and the measurement of absolute fluorescence quantum yields and absorption coefficients of suspensions of fluorescent beads for material performance optimization and comparison. Here, as a first proof-of-concept, we present the first time determination of the number of dye molecules per bead using nondestructive quantitative ((19)F) NMR spectroscopy and 1000 nm-sized carboxylated polystyrene particles loaded with varying concentrations of the laser dye coumarin 153 containing a CF(3) group. Additionally, the signal-relevant optical properties of these dye-loaded particles were determined in aqueous suspension in comparison to the free dye in solvents of different polarity with a custom-built integrating sphere setup that enables spectrally resolved measurements of emission, transmission, and reflectance as well absolute fluorescence quantum yields. These measurements present an important step toward absolute brightness values and quantitative fluorescence analysis with particle systems that can be exploited, for example, for optical imaging techniques and different fluorescence assays as well as for the metrological traceability of fluorescence methods.
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ABSTRACT: Luminescence techniques are among the most widely used detection methods in the life and material sciences. At the core of these methods is an ever-increasing variety of fluorescent reporters (i.e., simple dyes, fluorescent labels, probes, sensors and switches) from different fluorophore classes ranging from small organic dyes and metal ion complexes, quantum dots and upconversion nanocrystals to differently sized fluorophore-doped or fluorophore-labeled polymeric particles. A key parameter for fluorophore comparison is the fluorescence quantum yield (Φf), which is the direct measure for the efficiency of the conversion of absorbed light into emitted light. In this protocol, we describe procedures for relative and absolute determinations of Φf values of fluorophores in transparent solution using optical methods, and we address typical sources of uncertainty and fluorophore class-specific challenges. For relative determinations of Φf, the sample is analyzed using a conventional fluorescence spectrometer. For absolute determinations of Φf, a calibrated stand-alone integrating sphere setup is used. To reduce standard-related uncertainties for relative measurements, we introduce a series of eight candidate quantum yield standards for the wavelength region of ∼350-950 nm, which we have assessed with commercial and custom-designed instrumentation. With these protocols and standards, uncertainties of 5-10% can be achieved within 2 h.Nature Protocol 08/2013; 8(8):1535-50. · 8.36 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We systematically assessed the loading behavior of core-multishell nanoparticles (CMS NPs) for the solvatochromic dyes Coumarin 153 and Nile Red and studied the influence of the guest and its concentration on CMS NP aggregation using steady state absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering (DLS). These measurements revealed the strong fluorescence of dye-loaded CMS NPs and formation of nonemissive dye aggregates in the outer CMS layer at higher loading concentrations of Nile Red, whereas in the case of Coumarin 153, a new species with red-shifted absorption and blue-shifted emission appeared. Moreover, dye loading triggers an aggregation of CMS NPs which have a hydrodynamic radius of 8 nm, thereby leading to CMS aggregates with a radius of 100–120 nm. These results underline the need for systematic studies of the influence of the guest and its loading concentration on CMS NP size for cellular uptake and in vivo imaging studies and the rational design of CMS NPs with improved transport and targeting abilities.Macromolecules 12/2012; 45(23):9452-9459. · 5.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Acrylic acid 3-acetyl-2-oxo-2 H-chromen-7-yl ester (ACA) was rationally designed and synthesized as a simple and effective fluorescent probe for sensing cysteine with high selectivity and naked-eye detection. The probe can detect cysteine by fluorescence spectrometry with a detection limit of 0.657 μM and can be used with calf serum and in live cell imaging. The conjugate addition/cyclization sequence mechanism of the reaction between ACA and cysteine was conﬁrmed by ESI-MS and fluorescence spectra.Biosensors & Bioelectronics 09/2014; 59:35–39. · 6.45 Impact Factor