Luminescent bioactive NHC–metal complexes to bring light into cells
Organometallic complexes are mostly used in catalytic applications and nowadays they are attracting more and more attention for biomedical applications. Until the last decade, research in the latter area was focused on screening of complexes against cancer cell lines, bacteria or parasites. For a couple of years mechanistic studies have helped in elucidating the mode of action of such complexes, one of the applied methods consists of studying cell uptake and intracellular distribution of luminescent bioactive complexes, in order to identify the main targets. This perspective summarizes the results obtained with luminescent bioactive NHC–metal complexes in this field of research.