Fluorescence Upconversion Microbarcodes for Multiplexed Biological Detection

Dr. Fan Zhang


AbstractMultiplexed suspension arrays of encoded microspheres offer several advantages over planar arrays such as flexibility in target selection, fast binding kinetics, and well controlled binding conditions. For multiplexed detection a reporter dye is required and the region of the spectrum that is occupied by its emission profile is not available for encoding. But for dye and Quantum dots encoding materials described above, the interfering with organic reporter tags that have excitations in the visible or UV is still a major problem. In the present work, we show that this problem could be resoleved by the development of upconversion optically encoded microbeads. This encoded bead technology is based on the optical properties of RE ions doped upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs), which are excited in the infrared region instead of the UV and visible region to give emission in the visible domain. These UCNPs show a high photostability, low toxicity, and their multicolor optical properties can be tuned by variation of lanthanide dopants and the host matrix.  In particular, it is extremely important to note that there is no optical cross talk between the upconversion optical code and any reporter dyes. The single wavelength 980-nm continuous wave (CW) laser used to excite the upconversion materials does not excite dyes which absorb in the visible and UV region and, conversely, the upconversion materials are not excited by the visible lasers used to excite the organic dyes. All these favorable properties have indicated the great potential of UCNPs in the multiplexed detection.

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