Recent advances of dicyano-based materials in biology and medicine
Fluorescence imaging is advancing quickly through the discovery of new fluorescent molecules and the invention of various strategies that can optimize and detect the fluorescence of various fluorophores. Dicyano-based fluorescent materials, including DCM (dicyanomethylene-4Hpyran) and DCO (dicyanoisophorone), have attracted great attention in recent years due to their excellent photophysical properties, outstanding biocompatibility, and low toxicity to living systems. In this review, we describe the principal strategies to create dicyano-based chemosensors through synthetic methods and the current photophysical understanding of these compounds. Then, we discuss efforts to target small-molecule compounds for imaging cellular events and studying biological processes. Additionally, dicyan-based materials applied to diagnostic tools, drug delivery and potential therapeutics have been described in detail. Finally, we conclude by discussing the opportunities and challenges of this class of materials, which may act as precision tools in the areas of biology and medicine.