Highly Luminescent, Stable, and Red-Emitting CsMg xPb1- xI3Quantum Dots for Dual-Modal Imaging-Guided Photodynamic Therapy and Photocatalytic Activity

Girum Getachew, Chiranjeevi Korupalli, Akash S. Rasal, Worku Batu Dirersa, Mochamad Z. Fahmi, Jia Yaw Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, for the first time, red-emitting CsMgxPb1-xI3 quantum dots (QDs) are prepared by doping with magnesium (Mg) ions via the one-pot microwave pyrolysis technique. The X-ray diffraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results have confirmed partial substitution of Pb2+ by Mg2+ inside the CsPbI3 framework. The as-synthesized CsMgxPb1-xI3 QDs have exhibited excellent morphology, higher quantum yield (upto ∼89%), better photostability and storage stability than undoped CsPbI3. Next, the bioavailability of as-synthesized hydrophobic CsMgxPb1-xI3 QDs is improved by encapsulating them into gadolinium-conjugated pluronic 127 (PF127-Gd) micelles through hydrophobic interactions (PQD@Gd). The optical properties of perovskite quantum dots (PQDs) and the presence of Gd could endow the PQD@Gd with fluorescence imaging, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and phototherapeutic properties. Accordingly, the MRI contrasting effects of PQD@Gd nanoagents are demonstrated by employing T1 and T2 studies, which validated that PQD@Gd nanoagents had superior MR contrasting effect with a r2/r1 ratio of 1.38. In vitro MRI and fluorescence imaging analyses have shown that the PQD@Gd nanoagents are internalized into the cancer cells via a caveolae-mediated endocytosis pathway. The PQD@Gd nanoagents have exhibited excellent biocompatibility even at concentrations as high as 450 ppm. Interestingly, the as-prepared PQD@Gd nanoagents have efficiently produced cytotoxic reactive oxygen species in the cancer cells under 671 nm laser illumination and thereby induced cell death. Moreover, the PQD@Gd nanoagent also demonstrated excellent photocatalytic activity toward organic pollutants under visible light irradiation. The organic pollutants rhodamine b, methyl orange, and methylene blue were degraded by 92.11, 89.21, and 76.21%, respectively, under 60, 80, and 100 min, respectively, irradiation time. The plausible mechanism for the photocatalytic activity is also elucidated. Overall, this work proposes a novel strategy to enhance the optical properties, stability, and bioapplicability of PQDs. The multifunctional PQD@Gd nanoagents developed in this study could be the potential choice of components not only for cancer therapy due to dual-modal imaging and photodynamic therapeutic properties but also for organic pollutant or bacterial removal due to excellent photocatalytic properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-296
Number of pages19
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2022


  • CsMg PbIQDs
  • MR imaging
  • and photocatalytic activity
  • multifunctional nanoagent
  • reactive oxygen species


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