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Single Chain Cationic Polymer Dot as a Fluorescent Probe for Cell Imaging and Selective Determination of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells
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This letter describes formation of single chain cationic polymer dots (Pdots) made of poly[1,4-dimethy1-1-(34(2,4,5-trimethylthiophen-3-yl)oxy)propyl)piperazin-1-ium bromide] conjugated polyelectrolyte (CPE). The single chain Pdot formation relies on a simple process which is a rapid nanophase separation between CPE solution of ethylene glycol and water. Pdots show narrow monodisperse size distribution with a 3.6 nm in diameter exhibiting high brightness and excellent colloidal and optical stability. It has been demonstrated that photoluminescent Pdots provide selective nuclear translocation to hepatocellular carcinoma cells as compared to healthy liver cells. The Pdot labeling effectively discriminates cancer cells in the coculture media. Pdots hold great promise as a luminescent probe to diagnose cancer cells in histology and may guide surgeons during operations to precisely separate out cancerous tissue due to augmented fluorescence brightness.