We have developed a novel design of optical nanothermometers that can measure the surrounding temperature in the range of 20-85C. The nanothermometers comprise two organic fluorophores encapsulated in a crosslinked polymethacrylate nanoshell. The role of the nanocapsule shell around the fluorophores is to form a well-defined and stable microenvironment to prevent other factors besides temperature from affecting the dyes' fluorescence. The two fluorophores feature different temperature-dependent emission profiles; a fluorophore with relatively insensitive fluorescence (rhodamine 640) serves as a reference whereas a sensitive fluorophore (indocyanine green) serves as a sensor. The sensitivity of the nanothermometers depends on the type of nanocapsule-forming lipid and is affected by the phase transition temperature. Both the fluorescence intensity and the fluorescence lifetime can be utilized to measure the temperature.
- fluorescence lifetime
- indocyanine green