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Fluorescent Multifunctional Organic Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery and Bioimaging: A Tutorial Review

Affiliation
Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 17A, 43124 Parma, Italy
Vargas-Nadal, Guillem;
ORCID
0000-0001-9962-7900
Affiliation
Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
Köber, Mariana;
Affiliation
Elvesys SAS, 172 Rue de Charonne, 75011 Paris, France
Nsamela, Audrey;
ORCID
0000-0001-5162-9210
Affiliation
Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 17A, 43124 Parma, Italy
Terenziani, Francesca;
ORCID
0000-0003-1972-1281
Affiliation
Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 17A, 43124 Parma, Italy
Sissa, Cristina;
ORCID
0000-0002-6131-4375
Affiliation
ADDRes Lab, Department of Food and Drug, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 27A, 43124 Parma, Italy
Pescina, Silvia;
ORCID
0000-0001-7372-1456
Affiliation
ADDRes Lab, Department of Food and Drug, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 27A, 43124 Parma, Italy
Sonvico, Fabio;
ORCID
0000-0003-4469-1969
Affiliation
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, USM, Gelugor 11800, Penang, Malaysia
Gazzali, Amirah Mohd;
ORCID
0000-0002-8353-8679
Affiliation
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, USM, Gelugor 11800, Penang, Malaysia
Wahab, Habibah A.;
Affiliation
Division of Theoretical Physics, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Bijenička Cesta 54, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Grisanti, Luca;
ORCID
0000-0002-2831-7961
Affiliation
Unidad de Investigación y Desarrollo en Tecnología Farmacéutica (UNITEFA), CONICET and Departamento de Ciencias Farmacéuticas, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Ciudad Universitaria, Córdoba 5000, Argentina
Olivera, María Eugenia;
Affiliation
Unidad de Investigación y Desarrollo en Tecnología Farmacéutica (UNITEFA), CONICET and Departamento de Ciencias Farmacéuticas, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Ciudad Universitaria, Córdoba 5000, Argentina
Palena, María Celeste;
Affiliation
Unidad de Investigación y Desarrollo en Tecnología Farmacéutica (UNITEFA), CONICET and Departamento de Ciencias Farmacéuticas, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Ciudad Universitaria, Córdoba 5000, Argentina
Guzman, María Laura;
Affiliation
Unidad de Investigación y Desarrollo en Tecnología Farmacéutica (UNITEFA), CONICET and Departamento de Ciencias Farmacéuticas, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Ciudad Universitaria, Córdoba 5000, Argentina
Luciani-Giacobbe, Laura Carolina;
ORCID
0000-0003-1659-7983
Affiliation
Unidad de Investigación y Desarrollo en Tecnología Farmacéutica (UNITEFA), CONICET and Departamento de Ciencias Farmacéuticas, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Ciudad Universitaria, Córdoba 5000, Argentina
Jimenez-Kairuz, Alvaro;
ORCID
0000-0002-8008-4974
Affiliation
Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
Ventosa, Nora;
ORCID
0000-0002-1464-9789
Affiliation
Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
Ratera, Imma;
Affiliation
Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 323 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Newark, NJ 07102, USA
Belfield, Kevin D.;
ORCID
0000-0002-3823-7682
Affiliation
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
Maoz, Ben M.

Fluorescent organic nanoparticles (FONs) are a large family of nanostructures constituted by organic components that emit light in different spectral regions upon excitation, due to the presence of organic fluorophores. FONs are of great interest for numerous biological and medical applications, due to their high tunability in terms of composition, morphology, surface functionalization, and optical properties. Multifunctional FONs combine several functionalities in a single nanostructure (emission of light, carriers for drug-delivery, functionalization with targeting ligands, etc.), opening the possibility of using the same nanoparticle for diagnosis and therapy. The preparation, characterization, and application of these multifunctional FONs require a multidisciplinary approach. In this review, we present FONs following a tutorial approach, with the aim of providing a general overview of the different aspects of the design, preparation, and characterization of FONs. The review encompasses the most common FONs developed to date, the description of the most important features of fluorophores that determine the optical properties of FONs, an overview of the preparation methods and of the optical characterization techniques, and the description of the theoretical approaches that are currently adopted for modeling FONs. The last part of the review is devoted to a non-exhaustive selection of some recent biomedical applications of FONs.

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