Photoactive metal complexes that bind DNA and other biomolecules as cell probes, therapeutics, and theranostics
This review discusses the advantages of using luminescent d6-transition-metal complexes as cell probes for optical microscopy. In particular it focusses on the Thomas group's use of specific complexes as “building blocks” toward the construction of biomolecular binding substrates, with DNA being a particular target. Using this approach, a range of new imaging probes for conventional optical microscopy, nanoscopy and transmission electron microscopy have been identified. Through selection of specific metal centres and by substitution of coordinated ligands we illustrate how new chemotherapeutics, photo-therapeutics, and theranostics have been identified and developed from the original architectures.