Fluorescent Multifunctional Organic Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery and Bioimaging: A Tutorial Review

Guillem Vargas-Nadal, Mariana Köber, Audrey Nsamela, Francesca Terenziani, Cristina Sissa, Silvia Pescina, Fabio Sonvico, Amirah Mohd Gazzali, Habibah A. Wahab, Luca Grisanti, María Eugenia Olivera, María Celeste Palena, María Laura Guzman, Laura Carolina Luciani-Giacobbe, Alvaro Jimenez-Kairuz, Nora Ventosa, Imma Ratera, Kevin D. Belfield, Ben M. Maoz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Fluorescent organic nanoparticles (FONs) are a large family of nanostructures constituted by organic components that emit light in different spectral regions upon excitation, due to the presence of organic fluorophores. FONs are of great interest for numerous biological and medical applications, due to their high tunability in terms of composition, morphology, surface functional-ization, and optical properties. Multifunctional FONs combine several functionalities in a single nanostructure (emission of light, carriers for drug-delivery, functionalization with targeting ligands, etc.), opening the possibility of using the same nanoparticle for diagnosis and therapy. The prepa-ration, characterization, and application of these multifunctional FONs require a multidisciplinary approach. In this review, we present FONs following a tutorial approach, with the aim of providing a general overview of the different aspects of the design, preparation, and characterization of FONs. The review encompasses the most common FONs developed to date, the description of the most important features of fluorophores that determine the optical properties of FONs, an overview of the preparation methods and of the optical characterization techniques, and the description of the theoretical approaches that are currently adopted for modeling FONs. The last part of the review is devoted to a non-exhaustive selection of some recent biomedical applications of FONs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2498
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science


  • FONs manufacturing
  • bioimaging
  • drug delivery
  • fluorescence
  • fluorescence microscopy
  • fluorophores
  • organic nanoparticles
  • theoretical simulations of nanoparticles


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