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Nano Research

Article Title

Traditional Chinese medicine molecule-assisted chemical synthesis of fluorescent anti-cancer silicon nanoparticles

Keywords

traditional Chinese medicine, fluorescent silicon nanoparticles, anti-cancer

Abstract

ABSTRACT Fluorescent silicon (Si) nanoparticles (SiNPs) hold great promise for innumerable biological and biomedical applications owing to their unique optical properties and negligible toxicity. In this article, we present a new traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) molecule-assisted chemical synthetic strategy, suitable for the production of multifunctional small-sized (diameter: ~ 3.7 nm) SiNPs in a facile and rapid (~ 10 min) manner. Of particular significance, the resultant SiNPs simultaneously exhibited robust and stable fluorescence (photoluminescence quantum yield (PLQY): ~ 15%), as well as intrinsic anti-cancer efficacy with excellent selectivity toward cancer cells. Taking advantage of these unique merits, we further employed these novel fluorescent anti-cancer SiNPs (AC-SiNPs) for the fluorescence tracking and treatment of tumors, demonstrating long-term (~ 18 days) inhibition of tumor growth in tumor-bearing mice. Consequently, we believe this new TCM-assisted chemical synthetic method is highly attractive for designing silicon nanostructures featuring multiple functionalities, and we suggest these AC-SiNPs as novel promising tools for providing visual evidence of TCM-based cancer treatment.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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