Luminescent rare-earth upconversion nanophosphors (UCNPs) are rapidly emerging as an important class of nanoparticles with a huge variety of potential applications including biological imaging and medicine, dyes for solar cells, security inks among others [1-6]. These nanoparticles are capable of converting near infra-red (NIR) light into visible light using hand-held laser pointers and offer much promise over conventional light sources in imaging/sensing since biological tissue and materials are much more transparent to radiation in this optical window [5,7]. At the interface of chemistry, biology and physics, this project will involve fabrication of a new class of functionalized nanoparticles that can selectively recognize specific macromolecules through the modulation of the Upconverted fluorescence outputs. UCNP will be used together with nanostructured fibroin films and specific molecular recognition species as biosensors workable devices (based on materials chemistry) for fast, tunable and specific detection of biomolecules through luminescence resonance energy transfer (LRET).
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: