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Novel NIR-II organic fluorophores for bioimaging beyond 1550 nm

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Abstract

Near-infrared fluorescence imaging in the 1500–1700 nm sub-window (NIR-IIb) has shown a deeper penetration depth, higher resolution and zero auto-fluorescence for biomedical imaging. Till now, very few small molecule NIR-IIb fluorophores have been reported due to the extremely rare organic NIR-IIb skeleton and a notorious aggregation-caused quenching (ACQ) effect in aqueous solution. In this study, highly twisted NIR-II small molecule fluorophores such as HL3 (45.5° at the S0 state) with the emission wavelength extending into the NIR-IIb region were designed and synthesized using an aggregation-induced emission (AIE) strategy. HL3 dots showed a remarkable increase in fluorescence intensity with a QY of 11.7% in the NIR-II window (>1000 nm) and 0.05% in the NIR-IIb region (>1550 nm) in water. High-resolution in vivo imaging of the whole body, cerebral vasculature, and lymphatic drainage beyond 1550 nm was achieved using NIR-II AIE HL3 dots for the first time. These attractive results may promote the development of small-molecule NIR-IIb fluorophores with the maximum emission wavelength beyond 1500 nm with a deeper penetration depth and higher resolution.

Graphical abstract: Novel NIR-II organic fluorophores for bioimaging beyond 1550 nm

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Article information


Submitted
30 Dec 2019
Accepted
05 Feb 2020
First published
06 Feb 2020

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Edge Article

Novel NIR-II organic fluorophores for bioimaging beyond 1550 nm

Y. Li, Y. Liu, Q. Li, X. Zeng, T. Tian, W. Zhou, Y. Cui, X. Wang, X. Cheng, Q. Ding, X. Wang, J. Wu, H. Deng, Y. Li, X. Meng, Z. Deng, X. Hong and Y. Xiao, Chem. Sci., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9SC06567A

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