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Crucial breakthrough of second near-infrared biological window fluorophores: design and synthesis toward multimodal imaging and theranostics

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Abstract

The development of fluorophores and molecular probes for the second near-infrared biological window (NIR-II, 1000–1700 nm) represents an important, newly emerging and dynamic field in molecular imaging, chemical biology and materials chemistry. Because of reduced scattering, minimal absorption and negligible autofluorescence, NIR-II imaging provides high resolution, a high signal-to-noise ratio, and deep tissue penetration capability. Among various state-of-the-art bioimaging modalities, one of the greatest challenges in developing novel probes is to achieve both high resolution and sensitivity. The chemical design and synthesis of NIR-II fluorophores suitable for multimodal imaging is thus emerging as a new and powerful strategy for obtaining high-definition images. NIR-II fluorophores may convert NIR-II photons into heat for photothermal therapy and be excited by NIR-II light to produce singlet oxygen for photodynamic therapy. The presence of simultaneous diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities in a single probe can be used for precise treatment. In this review, we have focused on recent advances in the chemical design and synthesis of NIR-II fluorophores from small organic molecules to organic and inorganic nanoparticles, and we have further discussed recent advances and key operational differences in reported NIR-II imaging systems and biomedical applications based on NIR-II imaging, such as multimodal imaging, photothermal and photodynamic therapy, guidance for intraoperative surgery, and drug delivery.

Graphical abstract: Crucial breakthrough of second near-infrared biological window fluorophores: design and synthesis toward multimodal imaging and theranostics

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Mar 2018 and first published on 04 May 2018


Article type: Tutorial Review
DOI: 10.1039/C8CS00234G
Citation: Chem. Soc. Rev., 2018, Advance Article
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    Crucial breakthrough of second near-infrared biological window fluorophores: design and synthesis toward multimodal imaging and theranostics

    S. He, J. Song, J. Qu and Z. Cheng, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8CS00234G

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