Biocompatible fluorescent polyamine-based cyclophosphazene hybrid nanospheres for targeted cell imaging

Raheel Akram, Anila Arshad, Sami Ullah Dar, Majid Basharat, Wei Liu, Shuangkun Zhang, Zhanpeng Wu*, Dezhen Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Fluorescent nanoprobes are highly desirable toolkit for bioimaging applications. This study reports the first example for the synthesis of a nontoxic prototypical fluorescent organic compound 2-benzo[d]thiazol-2-yl)-3-(2-chloro-4-(dimethylamino)phenyl)acrylonitrile (BCA) and its entrapment into the poly[cyclotriphosphazene-co-polyethyleneimine] cross-linked (PCPEI) nanospheres named as BCA@PCPEI for targeted cell imaging application. The as-prepared BCA@PCPEI nanospheres were thoroughly characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), fourier transform infrared (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance (31P-NMR) analyses. The surface functional analysis of the nanospheres was performed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), which proves that the content ratios of elements belong to the precursors concentrations. The as-prepared nanospheres displayed emission at 606 nm with bright orange fluorescence at any concentration. Moreover, the nanospheres were also less cytotoxic and maintained remarkable cell viability up to 100 μg/mL. Owing to the fluorescence with higher emission, this material has shown excellent cell imaging performance with better targeting ability to HeLa cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-432
Number of pages8
JournalPolymers for Advanced Technologies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • fluorescent material
  • nanospheres
  • targeted cell imaging


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