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Highly fluorescent sub 40-nm aminated mesoporous silica nanoparticles


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.

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This work was supported by The Experimental Therapeutics Center of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and by Mr. William H. Goodwin and Mrs. Alice Goodwin and the Commonwealth Foundation for Cancer Research. M.B. acknowledges support from a Research and Development award. K.M. acknowledges funding by the National Science Foundation (NSF MPS/DMR-1008125).

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Correspondence to Teeraporn Suteewong.

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Suteewong, T., Ma, K., Drews, J.E. et al. Highly fluorescent sub 40-nm aminated mesoporous silica nanoparticles. J Sol-Gel Sci Technol 74, 32–38 (2015).

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  • Mesoporous silica
  • Fluorescent
  • Amination