Recent advances of upconversion nanomaterials in the biological field

Cunjin Gao, Pengrui Zheng, Quanxiao Liu, Shuang Han, Dongli Li, Shiyong Luo, Hunter Temple, Christina Xing, Jigang Wang*, Yanling Wei*, Tao Jiang*, Wei Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Rare Earth Upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) are a type of material that emits high-energy photons by absorbing two or more low-energy photons caused by the anti-stokes process. It can emit ultraviolet (UV) visible light or near-infrared (NIR) luminescence upon NIR light excitation. Due to its excellent physical and chemical properties, including exceptional optical stability, narrow emission band, enormous Anti-Stokes spectral shift, high light penetration in biological tissues, long luminescent lifetime, and a high signal-to-noise ratio, it shows a prodigious application potential for bio-imaging and photodynamic therapy. This paper will briefly introduce the physical mechanism of upconversion luminescence (UCL) and focus on their research progress and achievements in bio-imaging, bio-detection, and photodynamic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2474
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Bio-detection
  • Bio-imaging
  • PDT
  • RE-doped
  • UCL
  • UCNPs


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