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Design of Activatable NIR-II Molecular Probe for In Vivo Elucidation of Disease-Related Viscosity Variations

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journal contribution
posted on 05.03.2020 by Kun Dou, Weijing Huang, Yunhui Xiang, Songjiao Li, Zhihong Liu
A clear elucidation of a disease-related viscosity change in vivo is significant yet highly challenging as well. Fluorescence imaging in the second near-infrared region (NIR-II, 1000–1700 nm) has gained increasing attention for observation in living organisms, but a viscosity-activatable fluorescent probe emitting at this region remains a vacancy. Herein, we report the first panel of a viscosity-activated NIR-II emissive fluorescent probe WD-X. By embedding different substituents into the WD-X platform and screening, we obtained an ideal probe, WD-NO2, which displayed the best combination of properties, including a 31-fold fluorescence enhancement in response to viscosity, insensitivity to environments (pH, polarity), and relatively high quantum yield (1.6% in glycerol). WD-NO2 was successfully applied to track the variation of viscosity in diabetes-induced liver injury in vivo.