Magneto-Fluorescent Core-Shell Supernanoparticles
Magneto-fluorescent particles have been recognized as an emerging class of materials that exhibit great potential in advanced applications. However, synthesizing such magneto-fluorescent nanomaterials that simultaneously exhibit uniform and tunable sizes, high magnetic content loading, maximized fluorophore coverage at the surface, and a versatile surface functionality has proven challenging. Here we report a simple approach for co-assembling magnetic nanoparticles with fluorescent quantum dots to form colloidal magneto-fluorescent supernanoparticles. Importantly, these supernanoparticles exhibit a superstructure consisting of a close packed magnetic nanoparticle “core” which is fully surrounded by a “shell” of fluorescent quantum dots. A thin layer of silica-coating provides high colloidal stability and biocompatiblity and a versatile surface functionality. We demonstrate that after surface pegylation, these silica-coated magneto-fluorescent supernanoparticles can be magnetically manipulated inside living cells while being optically tracked. Moreover, our silica-coated magneto-fluorescent supernanoparticles can also serve as an in vivo multi-photon and magnetic resonance dual-modal imaging probe.