Highly fluorescent sub 40-nm aminated mesoporous silica nanoparticles
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- Suteewong, T., Ma, K., Drews, J.E. et al. J Sol-Gel Sci Technol (2015) 74: 32. doi:10.1007/s10971-014-3567-2
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We report the room temperature synthesis of highly fluorescent, sub-40 nm aminated mesoporous silica nanoparticles in water using triethanolamine (TEA) as catalyst. Co-condensation reactions between silica precursors, i.e., tetraethoxysilane and 3-aminopropyl triethoxysilane, allows the incorporation of amino moieties and conjugated fluorescent dye (tetramethylrhodamine-5(6)-isothiocyanate; TRITC) throughout the silica matrix. Resulting materials are characterized using a combination of transmission electron microscopy, nitrogen sorption measurements, dynamic light scattering, zeta potential measurements, thermogravimetric analysis, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and solid-state 29Si-NMR spectroscopy. The TEA-catalyzed system leads to the formation of bright and discrete sub-40 nm aminated mesoporous silica nanoparticles with disordered pore structure and high organic content. Resulting nanomaterials may find use as simultaneous fluorescent probes and drug delivery vehicles in future theranostic applications.