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Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Copper sulfide nanoparticles, effective absorbers of near-infrared light, are recently attracting broad interest as a photothermal coupling agent for cancer therapy. Lipophilic copper sulfide nanoparticles are preferred for high performance biomedical applications due to high tissue affinity. Synthesis of lipophilic copper sulfide nanoparticles requires complicated multi-step processes under severe conditions. Here, we describe a new synthetic process, developed by direct dry-grinding of copper(II) acetylacetonate with sulfur under ambient environment at low temperature. The formed CuS nanoparticles are of uniform size, ∼10 nm in diameter, and are monodispersed in chloroform. Each covellite CuS nanocrystal surface is modified with oleylamine through hydrogen bonding between sulfur atoms and amine groups of oleylamine. The nanoparticles demonstrate near-infrared light absorption for photothermal applications. The synthetic methodology described here is more convenient and less extreme than previous methods, and should thus greatly facilitate the preparation of photothermal lipophilic copper sulfide nanomaterials for cancer therapy.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.