Novel NIR-II organic fluorophores for bioimaging beyond 1550 nm

Yang Li, Yufang Liu, Qianqian Li, Tian Tian, Wenyi Zhou, Yan Cui, Xikun Wang, xiaoding cheng, Qihang Ding, Xiaofei Wang, Junzhu Wu, Hai Deng, Yanqin Li, Xianli Meng, Zixin Deng, Xuechuan Hong, Yuling Xiao* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Near-infrared fluorescence imaging in the 1500–1700 nm sub-window (NIR-IIb) has shown a deeper penetration depth, higher resolution and zero auto-fluorescence for biomedical imaging. Till now, very 2 few small molecule NIR-IIb fluorophores have been reported due to the extremely rare organic NIR-IIb skeleton and a notorious aggregation-caused quenching (ACQ) effect in aqueous solution. In this study, highly twisted NIR-II small molecule fluorophores such as HL3 (45.5 at the S0 state) with the emission wavelength extending into the NIR-IIb region were designed and synthesized using an aggregationinduced emission (AIE) strategy. HL3 dots showed a remarkable increase in fluorescence intensity with a QY of 11.7% in the NIR-II window (>1000 nm) and 0.05% in the NIR-IIb region (>1550 nm) in water. High-resolution in vivo imaging of the whole body, cerebral vasculature, and lymphatic drainage beyond 1550 nm was achieved using NIR-II AIE HL3 dots for the first time. These attractive results may promote the development of small-molecule NIR-IIb fluorophores with the maximum emission wavelength beyond 1500 nm with a deeper penetration depth and higher resolution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2621-2626
Number of pages6
JournalChemical Science
Issue number10
Early online date6 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2020


  • biomedical imaging
  • DYES
  • BODY


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