Colloquium: Prof. Julia Zhao
Prof. Julia Xiaojun Zhao
Department of Chemistry
University of North Dakota
Silica-based Near-Infrared Fluorescent Nanomaterials
A series of silica-based near-infrared fluorescent (NIRF) nanomaterials have been developed using new approaches. The distinct features of these NIRF nanomaterials are 1) highly intense and photostable fluorescence signals, 2) tunable fluorescence wavelengths, and 3) low toxicity. Several metallic-based sandwich nanostructures were developed with various shapes and sizes for further enhanced fluorescence. The geometric, compositional, and dimensional effects of these NIRF materials on their fluorescence properties were studied, including fluorescence quantum yield, lifetime and wavelengths. These NIRFs were applied to biological applications including sensitive detection and imaging of trace analytes, and photothermal therapies. Nanomaterial-based photothermal therapy has shown great potential for efficient cancer treatment. The developed nanohybrids can generate significant amount of heat upon irradiation in the near infrared (NIR) region for inducing thermal cell death. The nanohybrids showed excellent in vitro biocompatibility as a promising hyperthermia agent.