Comparative study of two near-infrared coumarin–BODIPY dyes for bioimaging and photothermal therapy of cancer†
Near-infrared (NIR) responsive agents for cancer bioimaging and photothermal therapy are available and significant. Herein, we employed two easily available dyes, boron-dipyrromethane and coumarin, to synthesize a pair of coumarin–borondipyrromethane dyes with different conjugate degrees (BDC and BSC). The difference in conjugate degree made their photophysical properties poles apart. After the self-assembling of BDC and BSC, the newly constructed nanoparticles (BDC NPs and BSC NPs) demonstrated good biocompatibility. Moreover, BDC NPs exhibited a good photothermal effect under irradiation of 808 nm laser, which could effectively inhibit the growth of HeLa cells, and BSC NPs could quickly show a conspicuous fluorescence in the HeLa cells. The exploration demonstrates that the two organic dyes prepared with different conjugation degrees could provide new options for photothermal therapy of cancer and rapid bioimaging.