© 2019 by the Boyer Group.

NIR-to-UV/visible upconversion nanoparticles

Polymers featuring photoresponsive groups have been exploited as promising drug delivery systems with high degree of control over drug delivery processes. Light as spatially and temporally controllable external stimulus can be readily tuned and focused to trigger changes in the structure of polymer chains to provide “on-command” drug delivery. Generally, these photoresponsive polymeric materials respond to light with high energy wavelength, specifically ultraviolet (UV). 


We are investigating the use of NIR-to-UV/visible upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) as potential remote-controlled nanotransducers to generate in situ UV/visible light in order to activate the photoreaction of photoresponsive molecules for drug delivery applications. 


Using UCNPs as NIR-initiated controlled drug delivery systems offers unique advantages over conventional light-controlled systems with better tissue penetration depth and a reduced risk of cellular photo-damage caused by exposure to light at high-energy wavelengths.

Related publications

  • Bagheri, A.; Li, Z.; Boyer, C.; Lim, M., NIR/blue light emission optimization of NaY1-(x+y)YbxF4:Tmy upconversion nanoparticles via Yb3+/Tm3+ dopant balancing. Dalton Transactions 2018, 10.1039/C7DT04768A.

  • Bagheri, A.; Arandiyan, H.; Adnan, N. N. M.; Boyer, C.; Lim, M., Controlled Direct Growth of Polymer Shell on Upconversion Nanoparticle Surface via Visible Light Regulated Polymerization. Macromolecules 2017, 50 (18), 7137-7147, 10.1021/acs.macromol.7b01405.

  • Bagheri, A.; Yeow, J.; Arandiyan, H.; Xu, J.; Boyer, C.; Lim, M., Polymerization of a Photocleavable Monomer Using Visible Light. Macromolecular Rapid Communications 2016, 37 (11), 905-910, 10.1002/marc.201600127.

  • Bagheri, A.; Arandiyan, H.; Boyer, C.; Lim, M., Lanthanide-doped upconversion nanoparticles: Emerging intelligent light-activated drug delivery systems. Advanced Science 2016, 3 (7), 10.1002/advs.201500437.