Development of Citrate-Based Dual-Imaging Enabled Biodegradable Electroactive Polymers

Dingying Shan, Sri Rajasekhar Kothapalli, Dino J. Ravnic, Ethan Gerhard, Jimin P. Kim, Jinshan Guo, Chuying Ma, Jiazhi Guo, Li Gui, Lin Sun, Di Lu, Jian Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Increasing occurrences of degenerative diseases, defective tissues, and severe cancers heighten the importance of advanced biomedical treatments, which in turn enhance the need for improved biomaterials with versatile theranostic functionalities yet using minimal design complexity. Leveraging the advantages of citrate chemistry, a multifunctional citrate-based biomaterial platform is developed with both imaging and therapeutic capabilities utilizing a facile and efficient one-pot synthesis. The resulting aniline tetramer doped biodegradable photoluminescent polymers (BPLPATs) not only possess programmable degradation profiles (<1 to > 6 months) and mechanical strengths (≈20 MPa to >400 MPa), but also present a combination of intrinsic fluorescence, photoacoustic (PA), and electrical conductivity properties. BPLPAT nanoparticles are able to label cells for fluorescence imaging and perform deep tissue detection with PA imaging. Coupled with significant photothermal performance, BPLPAT nanoparticles demonstrate great potential for thermal treatment and in vivo real-time detection of cancers. The results on BPLPAT scaffolds demonstrate 3D high-spatial-resolution deep tissue PA imaging (23 mm), as well as promote growth and differentiation of PC-12 nerve cells. It is envisioned that the biodegradable dual-imaging-enabled electroactive citrate-based biomaterial platform will expand the currently available theranostic material systems and open new avenues for diversified biomedical and biological applications via the demonstrated multifunctionality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1801787
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 22 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biomaterials


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