A Highly Photostable Hyperbranched Polyglycerol-Based NIR Fluorescence Nanoplatform for Mitochondria-Specific Cell Imaging
AbstractConsidering the critical role of mitochondria in the life and death of cells, non-invasive long-term tracking of mitochondria has attracted considerable interest. However, a high-performance mitochondria-specific labeling probe with high photostability is still lacking. Herein a highly photostable hyperbranched polyglycerol (hPG)-based near-infrared (NIR) quantum dots (QDs) nanoplatform is reported for mitochondria-specific cell imaging. Comprising NIR Zn-Cu-In-S/ZnS QDs as extremely photostable fluorescent labels and alkyl chain (C12)/triphenylphosphonium (TPP)-functionalized hPG derivatives as protective shell, the tailored QDs@hPG-C12/TPP nanoprobe with a hydrodynamic diameter of about 65 nm exhibits NIR fluorescence, excellent biocompatibility, good stability, and mitochondria-targeted ability. Cell uptake experiments demonstrate that QDs@hPG-C12/TPP displays a significantly enhanced uptake in HeLa cells compared to nontargeted QDs@hPG-C12. Further co-localization study indicates that the probe selectively targets mitochondria. Importantly, compared with commercial deep-red mitochondria dyes, QDs@hPG-C12/TPP possesses superior photostability under continuous laser irradiation, indicating great potential for long-term mitochondria labeling and tracking. Moreover, drug-loaded QDs@hPG-C12/TPP display an enhanced tumor cell killing efficacy compared to nontargeted drugs. This work could open the door to the construction of organelle-targeted multifunctional nanoplatforms for precise diagnosis and high-efficient tumor therapy.