Biomolecular Probes and Cellular Reagents Derived from Photofunctional Rhenium(I), Ruthenium(II), and Iridium(III) Polypyridine Complexes

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)31B_Invited conference paper (non-refereed items)Yes

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2021


TitleCroucher Advanced Study Institute 2020
PlaceHong Kong
Period10 - 12 December 2020


The interactions of transition metal complexes with biological molecules such as nucleic acids and proteins have been of long-standing interest. However, the applications of luminescent transition metal complexes in intracellular sensing and bioimaging have not been focused upon until recently. We are interested in the photophysical and photochemical characteristics of photoactive transition metal polypyridine complexes since they offer new opportunities for the development of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic reagents. Of particular importance is the environment-sensitive luminescence, photoactivatable characteristics, and singlet oxygen photosensitization properties of these metal complexes. In this presentation, our strategies in the development of luminescent rhenium(I), ruthenium(II), and iridium(III) polypyridine complexes as intracellular sensors for small molecular targets, photocytotoxic agents, and phosphorogenic bioorthogonal probes for live cells will be introduced. The focus will be on the photophysical and photochemical properties, cytotoxic activity, cellular uptake behavior, and intracellular localization and applications of these photofunctional transition metal complexes.