Far-red and near infrared BODIPY dyes: synthesis and applications for fluorescent pH probes and bio-imaging
Far-red and near infrared (NIR) emissive dyes have advantages in the development of fluorescent probes and labelling for bio-imaging in living systems since fluorescence in the long-wavelength region would generate minimum photo-toxicity to biological components, deep tissue penetration and minimal background from auto-fluorescence by bio-molecules. BODIPY dyes are attractive due to their excellent photo-physical properties and potential for fluorescence-based sensing and bio-imaging applications. Thus, numerous research papers have emerged to develop BODIPY-based dyes with absorption and emission in the long-wavelength spectral region (650–900 nm). This review summarizes the general strategies to obtain far-red and NIR BODIPYs. Moreover, their applications for fluorescent pH probes and imaging or labelling in living systems are highlighted.