New Xanthene Dyes with NIR-II Emission Beyond 1200 nm for Efficient Tumor Angiography and Photothermal Therapy

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Chuangli Zhang
  • Jiasheng Wu
  • Weimin Liu
  • Pengfei Wang


Original languageEnglish
Article number2202078
Journal / PublicationSmall
Issue number29
Online published22 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2022


Fluorescence (FL) bioimaging in the second near-infrared window (NIR-II, 1000–1700 nm) provides improved imaging quality and high resolution for diagnosis of deep-seated tumors. However, integrating FL bioimaging and photothermal therapy (PTT) in a single photoactive molecule exhibits a great challenge because a dramatic increase of PTT in the NIR-II window benefitting from the nonradiative decay will sacrifice the fluorescence brightness that is unfavorable for FL bioimaging. Therefore, balancing the radiative decay and nonradiative decay is an effective and rational design strategy. Herein, four NIR-II xanthene dyes (CL1–CL4) are synthesized with maximal emission beyond 1200 nm under 1064 nm excitation. CL4 exhibits the largest fluorescence quantum yield and a significant fluorescence enhancement after complexation with fetal bovine serum (FBS). As-prepared CL4/FBS has a maximal emission of 1235 nm and a high photothermal conversion efficiency of 36% under 1064 nm excitation. Bright and refined tumor vessels with a fine resolution of 0.23 mm can be clearly distinguished by CL4/FBS. In vivo studies show that a balanced utilization of fluorescence and photothermy in the NIR-II window is successfully achieved with superior biocompatibility. This efficient strategy provides promising avenue for precise theranostics of deep tumors.

Research Area(s)

  • NIR-II fluorescence imaging, photothermal therapy, tumor angiography, xanthene derivatives