We herein report a simple, economical and green synthesis of highly fluorescent, water soluble and stable arginine functionalised CdTe/CdSe/ZnSe multi core-shell nanoparticles (NPs) with enhanced cell viability for cellular imaging. The synthesis of the CdTe/CdSe/ZnSe NPs was carried out under ambient conditions in the absence of an inert environment. The as-prepared NPs were characterised using UV–vis absorption and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). The optical analyses showed an enhancement in the fluorescent intensity after the functionalisation with improved optical properties. The functionalised NPs (F-NPs) displayed higher cell viability compared to the bare NPs when investigated on KM-Luc/GFP cell line at different concentrations. The fluorescent image indicated that the as-synthesised functionalised NPs were taken up by the cells.
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