Comparison of semiconducting polymer dots and semiconductor quantum dots for smartphone-based fluorescence assays

Gupta, R., Peveler, W. J. , Lix, K. and Algar, W. R. (2019) Comparison of semiconducting polymer dots and semiconductor quantum dots for smartphone-based fluorescence assays. Analytical Chemistry, (doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.9b02881) (PMID:31403282) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Fluorescent nanoparticles have transformative potential for smartphone-based point-of-need diagnostics because an optimal material can reduce the technical burden to meet assay performance requirements. Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) are a now well-established example of such a material. Semiconducting polymer dots (Pdots) and conjugated-polymer nanoparticles (CPNs) are emerging materials that bring the advantages of being bright, easy to synthesize, and metal-free when compared with QDs, but they frequently present the trade-off of spectrally broad emission and less well-defined surface chemistry. Here, we compare these two classes of nanoparticles in the context of a “bare bones” device that uses a smartphone for all-in-one excitation and imaging of fluorescence. The greater per-particle brightness of Pdots provides orders of magnitude better imaging sensitivity versus QDs, and this advantage translates to a model lateral flow assay. Our data suggest that Pdots will support multicolor imaging on a smartphone in an optimized assay, although QDs are likely superior for this purpose. These pros and cons lead to discussion of how physicochemical differences between QDs and Pdots may influence assay performance beyond differences in optical properties. Overall, Pdots have great potential for enabling smartphone-based fluorescence assays with high sensitivity and low detection limits.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:We thank NSERC, CFI, BCKDF, and UBC for support of this research. R.G. is grateful for support from the NSERC CREATE NanoMat training program. W.J.P. gratefully acknowledges the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Fund for Advanced Studies for a Postdoctoral Fellowship and the University of Glasgow for a Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Fellowship. W.R.A. is grateful for a Canada Research Chair, a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award, and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship.
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Peveler, Dr William
Authors: Gupta, R., Peveler, W. J., Lix, K., and Algar, W. R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Journal Name:Analytical Chemistry
Publisher:American Chemical Society
ISSN:0003-2700
ISSN (Online):1520-6882
Published Online:12 August 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society
First Published:First published in Analytical Chemistry 2019
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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