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Flexible Designing Strategy to Construct Activatable NIR-II Fluorescent Probes with Emission Maxima beyond 1200 nm

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journal contribution
posted on 12.02.2021, 15:41 by Kun Dou, Wenqi Feng, Chen Fan, Yu Cao, Yunhui Xiang, Zhihong Liu
Activatable second near-infrared (NIR-II) fluorescent probes that can be lighted up by specific targets have attracted great attention because of their high specificity and resolution, which hold great promise in deep-tissue imaging. However, such probes were relatively rarely reported so far, and the emission maximum is still limited (mainly located at 900–1000 nm). To solve the problem, herein, we proposed a flexible strategy to modulate the emission wavelength of NIR-II fluorescent probes, and four proof-of-concept probes (WH-1, WH-2, WH-3, and WH-4) based on D−π-A molecular skeleton were obtained. These probes can be activated by H2S and the emission maximum located from 925 to 1205 nm, which was attributed to the cooperation of elongating the π-conjugated system and enhancing the electron-donating ability of the donor region. In these probes, WH-3 exhibited the combination of long excitation/emission (925/1140 nm) and moderate quantum yield as well as high sensitivity toward H2S, enabling us to track and image H2S in vivo with high contrast. We expected that such a molecular design strategy will become an important approach to developing activatable NIR-II fluorescent probes with long emission.

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