Fluorescent Organic Compound–Phosphorescent Inorganic Transition Metal Complex Conjugates as Bioprobes and Imaging Reagents

Project: Research

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This project aims to develop novel conjugates composed of fluorescent perylene and phosphorescent transition metal complexes as bioprobes and imaging reagents. Perylene and its derivatives are known to display high photochemical stability and intense fluorescence. Although perylene derivatives modified with polar and charged substituents display enhanced water solubility, they still have a high tendency to form non-emissive aggregates in aqueous solution when they are brought together by macromolecules of the opposite charge. The interplay between the non-emissive aggregated form and strongly fluorescent monomeric form has inspired the development of sensitive and selective bioassays. Recently, there has been an emerging interest in the cellular uptake, cytotoxic activity, and bioimaging applications of phosphorescent transition metal complexes. In this project, we will develop conjugates composed of fluorescent perylene and phosphorescent transition metal complexes. The lipophilicity, aggregation behavior, and photophysical and photochemical properties of these conjugates will be studied. Additionally, their cytotoxicity and cellular uptake will be investigated by bioassays, inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry, flow cytometry, and laser-scanning confocal microscopy. We anticipate that the aggregation-dependent fluorescence of perylene and the environment-sensitive phosphorescence of transition metal complexes will cause our target conjugates to exhibit brand new emission characteristics, which will contribute to the development of new cellular reagents with useful diagnostic applications.


Project number9054016
Grant typeNSFC
Effective start/end date1/01/16 → …