Fluorenyl-Loaded Quatsome Nanostructured Fluorescent Probes

Xinglei Liu, Antonio Ardizzone, Binglin Sui, Mattia Anzola, Nora Ventosa, Taihong Liu, Jaume Veciana, Kevin D. Belfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Delivery of hydrophobic materials in biological systems, for example, contrast agents or drugs, is an obdurate challenge, severely restricting the use of materials with otherwise advantageous properties. The synthesis and characterization of a highly stable and water-soluble nanovesicle, referred to as a quatsome (QS, vesicle prepared from cholesterol and amphiphilic quaternary amines), that allowed the nanostructuration of a nonwater soluble fluorene-based probe are reported. Photophysical properties of fluorenyl-quatsome nanovesicles were investigated via ultraviolet-visible absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy in various solvents. Colloidal stability and morphology of the nanostructured fluorescent probes were studied via cryogenic transmission electronic microscopy, revealing a "patchy" quatsome vascular morphology. As an example of the utility of these fluorescent nanoprobes, examination of cellular distribution was evaluated in HCT 116 (an epithelial colorectal carcinoma cell line) and COS-7 (an African green monkey kidney cell line) cell lines, demonstrating the selective localization of C-QS and M-QS vesicles in lysosomes with high Pearson's colocalization coefficient, where C-QS and M-QS refer to quatsomes prepared with hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide or tetradecyldimethylbenzylammonium chloride, respectively. Further experiments demonstrated their use in time-dependent lysosomal tracking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4112-4122
Number of pages11
JournalACS Omega
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 31 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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