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Multifunction in One Molecule: Mitochondrial Imaging and Photothermal & Photodynamic Cytotoxicity of Fast-Response Near-Infrared Fluorescent Probes with Aggregation-Induced Emission Characteristics

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posted on 2021-02-16, 01:03 authored by Lu Zhang, Jiang-Lin Wang, Xiao-Xu Ba, Si-Yu Hua, Peng Jiang, Feng-Lei Jiang, Yi Liu
HJS and DHJS, two near-infrared emissive and mitochondria-targeted therapy probes, have been designed. They exhibited photothermal & photodynamic cytotoxicity and aggregation-induced emission (AIE) characteristics. Interestingly, we could receive fluorescence immediately after adding the probes without washing in 1 min. They could quickly enter cancer cells and selectively localized to the mitochondria firstly. When the concentration of probes was low (<5 μM), they could respond sensitively to the mitochondrial membrane potential and would selectively enter the mitochondria with red fluorescence. However, when the concentration was high (≥5 μM), they would preferentially enter the mitochondria and have the property of dual-channel fluorescence imaging (red and near-infrared) even after 24 h. What’s more, they increased the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, decreased the mitochondrial membrane potentials, and then induced apoptosis, which were proved by confocal imaging and flow cytometry experiments. In addition, the results of photothermal experiment and cytotoxicity test showed that the probes had good photothermal and photodynamic toxicity to cancer cells. In vitro and in vivo experiments also proved the excellent near-infrared (NIR) imaging ability, good biocompatibility and certain inhibition of tumor growth ability of DHJS.

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