Photophysics and photochemistry of NIR absorbers derived from cyanines: key to new technologies based on chemistry 4.0.
ABSTRACT: Cyanines derived from heptamethines were mainly discussed regarding their functionalization to broaden the solubility in different surroundings exhibiting either hydrophilic or hydrophobic properties and to tailor made the ?G et photopysical properties with respect to absorption and fluorescence. Electrochemical properties were additionally considered for some selected examples. The cyanines chosen comprised as end groups either indolenine, benzo[e]- or benzo[cd]indolium pattern, which facilitated to shift the absorption between 750-1000 nm. This enabled their use in applications with light sources emitting in the near-infrared (NIR) region selected from high power LEDs or lasers with line-shaped focus. The absorbers considered were discussed regarding their function as sensitizer for applications related to Chemistry 4.0 standards. These were mainly photopolymer coatings, which can be found for applications in the graphic industry or to protect selected substrates. The huge release of heat on demand upon turning ON or OFF the NIR light source enables them for photothermal treatment in processes requesting heat to initiate either chemical (activated reactions) or physical (melting, evaporation) events.
Project description:Heptamethine cyanines are favorable for fluorescence imaging applications in biological systems owing to their near-infrared (NIR) absorption and emission. However, it is very difficult to quench the fluorescence of NIR dyes by the classic photoinduced electron transfer mechanism due to their relatively high-lying occupied molecular orbital energy levels. Herein, we present a simple and effective "capping" approach to readily tune the fluorescence of NIR cyanines. The resulting new functional NIR CyBX (X = O, N, or S) dyes not only retain the intact tricarbocyanine scaffold, but also have a built-in switch to regulate the fluorescence by spiro-cyclization. When compared to traditional cyanines, novel CyBX dyes have a superior character in that their NIR optical properties can be readily tuned by the intrinsic spiro-cyclization mechanism. We expect that this "capping" strategy can be extended across not only the visual spectrum but also to structurally distinct fluorophores.
Project description:G-Quadruplex DNA has been recognized as a highly appealing target for the development of new selective chemotherapeutics, which could result in markedly reduced toxicity toward normal cells. In particular, the cyanine dyes that bind selectively to G-quadruplex structures without targeting duplex DNA have attracted attention due to their high amenability to structural modifications that allows fine-tuning of their biomolecular interactions. We have previously reported pentamethine and symmetric trimethine cyanines designed to effectively bind G-quadruplexes through end stacking interactions. Herein, we are reporting a second generation of drug candidates, the asymmetric trimethine cyanines. These have been synthesized and evaluated for their quadruplex binding properties. Incorporating a benz[c,d]indolenine heterocyclic unit increased overall quadruplex binding, and elongating the alkyl length increases the quadruplex-to-duplex binding specificity.
Project description:Heptamethine cyanines are broadly used for a range of near-infrared imaging applications. As with many fluorophores, these molecules are prone to forming nonemissive aggregates upon biomolecule conjugation. Prior work has focused on persulfonation strategies, which only partially address these issues. Here, we report a new set of peripheral substituents, short polyethylene glycol chains on the indolenine nitrogens and a substituted alkyl ether at the C4' position, that provide exceptionally aggregation-resistant fluorophores. These symmetrical molecules are net-neutral, can be prepared in a concise sequence, and exhibit no evidence of H-aggregation even at high labeling density when appended to monoclonal antibodies or virus-like particles. The resulting fluorophore-biomolecule conjugates exhibit exceptionally bright in vitro and in vivo signals when compared to a conventional persulfonated heptamethine cyanine. Overall, these efforts provide a new class of heptamethine cyanines with significant utility for complex labeling applications.
Project description:A high yield route to symmetric, conjugatable pentamethine carbocyanine dyes with far-red/near infrared (NIR) emission between 650 and 700 nm is reported. The dyes are prepared via condensation of indolium or benz[e]indolium inner salts with an alkyl carboxylic acid derivatized malonaldehyde dianil or alternatively in a one-pot reaction without isolation of the malonaldehyde intermediate. The fluorophores are water-soluble, have bright fluorescence emission, are easily prepared in good yield, and are promising candidates for use in a variety of biochemical and in vivo imaging applications.
Project description:A variety of cyanines provide versatile and sensitive agents acting as DNA stains and sensors and have been structurally modified to bind in the DNA minor groove in a sequence dependent manner. Similarly, we are developing a new set of cyanines that have been designed to achieve highly selective binding to DNA G-quadruplexes with much weaker binding to DNA duplexes. A systematic set of structurally analogous trimethine cyanines has been synthesized and evaluated for quadruplex targeting. The results reveal that elevated quadruplex binding and specificity are highly sensitive to the polymethine chain length, heterocyclic structure and intrinsic charge of the compound. Biophysical experiments show that the compounds display significant selectivity for quadruplex binding with a higher preference for parallel stranded quadruplexes, such as cMYC. NMR studies revealed the primary binding through an end-stacking mode and SPR studies showed the strongest compounds have primary KD values below 100 nM that are nearly 100-fold weaker for duplexes. The high selectivity of these newly designed trimethine cyanines for quadruplexes as well as their ability to discriminate between different quadruplexes are extremely promising features to develop them as novel probes for targeting quadruplexes in vivo.
Project description:Heptamethine cyanines are important near-IR fluorophores used in many fluorescence applications. Despite this utility, these molecules are susceptible to light-promoted reactions (photobleaching) involving photochemically generated reactive oxygen species (ROS). Here, we have sought to define key chemical aspects of this nearly inescapable process. Near-IR photolysis of a model heptamethine cyanine leads to the regioselective oxidative cleavage of the cyanine polyene. We report the first quantitative analysis of the major reaction pathway following either photolysis or exposure to candidate ROS. These studies clearly indicate that only singlet oxygen (1O2), and not other feasible ROS, recapitulates the direct photolysis pathway. Computational studies were employed to investigate the regioselectivity of the oxidative cleavage process, and the theoretical ratio is comparable to observed experimental values. These results provide a more complete picture of heptamethine cyanine photooxidation, and provide insight for design of improved compounds for future applications.
Project description:The contrast and sensitivity of in vivo fluorescence imaging has been revolutionized by molecular fluorophores operating in the second near-infrared window (NIR-II; 1000-1700 nm), but an ongoing challenge is the solvatochromism-caused quenching in aqueous solution for the long-wavelength absorbing fluorophores. Herein, we develop a series of anti-quenching pentamethine cyanine fluorophores that significantly overcome the severe solvatochromism, thus affording stable absorption/emission beyond 1000 nm with up to ~ 44-fold enhanced brightness and superior photostability in aqueous solution. These advantages allow for deep optical penetration (8 mm) as well as high-contrast and highly-stable lymphatic imaging superior to clinical-approved indocyanine green. Additionally, these fluorophores exhibit pH-responsive fluorescence, allowing for noninvasive ratiometric fluorescence imaging and quantification of gastric pH in vivo. The results demonstrate reliable accuracy in tissue as deep as 4 mm, comparable to standard pH electrode method. This work unlocks the potential of anti-quenching pentamethine cyanines for NIR-II biological applications.
Project description:Probes that allow site-specific protein labeling have become critical tools for visualizing biological processes.Here we used phage display to identify a novel peptide sequence with nanomolar affinity for near infrared (NIR) (benz)indolium fluorochromes. The developed peptide sequence ("IQ-tag") allows detection of NIR dyes in a wide range of assays including ELISA, flow cytometry, high throughput screens, microscopy, and optical in vivo imaging.The described method is expected to have broad utility in numerous applications, namely site-specific protein imaging, target identification, cell tracking, and drug development.
Project description:Organic dyes that absorb and emit in the near-infrared (NIR) region are potentially noninvasive, high-resolution, and rapid biological imaging materials. Indolizine donor-based cyanine and squaraine dyes with water-solubilizing sulfonate groups were targeted in this study due to strong absorptions and emissions in the NIR region. As previously observed for nonwater-soluble derivatives, the indolizine group with water-solubilizing groups retains a substantial shift toward longer wavelengths for both absorption and emission with squaraines and cyanines relative to classically researched indoline donor analogues. Very high quantum yields (as much as 58%) have been observed with absorption and emission >700 nm in fetal bovine serum. Photostability studies, cell culture cytotoxicity, and cell uptake specificity profiles were all studied for these dyes, demonstrating exceptional biological imaging suitability.
Project description:Cyanine derivatives, named from the Greek word kyanos meaning dark-blue, were discovered more than 150 years ago and remain one of the most widely used classes of organic dyes with contemporary applications in photography (panchromatic emulsions), information storage (CD-R and DVD-R media) and biochemistry (DNA and protein labeling) fields. Cyanine chromogens consist of a charged ?-conjugated segment containing an odd number of sp(2) carbon atoms with the chain capped at the extremities by two electronegative centers, typically nitrogen or oxygen atoms. Cyanines are characterized by a vanishing bond length alternation indicating nearly equal carbon-carbon bond lengths, as well as a very intense and sharp absorption band presenting a shoulder. This hallmark band undergoes a strong red shift when the chain is extended. This so-called vinyl shift is extremely large (ca. 100 nm for each pair of carbon atoms added in the ?-conjugated path), making cyanines ideal building blocks for the design of devices with near-infrared applications. Numerous cyanines also exhibit emission bands with large quantum yields. These exceptional optical properties explain why both canonical cyanines and the corresponding fluoroborates (e.g., boron-dipyrromethene, BODIPY) remain the focus of an ever-growing body of experimental work. In turn, this popularity has stimulated quantum mechanical investigations aiming, on the one hand, at probing the specific electronic nature of cyanine dyes and, on the other hand, at helping to design new dyes. However, the adiabatic approximation to time-dependent density functional theory, the most widespread ab initio model for electronically excited states, fails to accurately reproduce the absorption spectra of cyanine derivatives: it yields a systematic and large underestimation of the experimental wavelengths irrespective of the details of the computational protocol. In contrast, highly correlated wave function approaches provide accurate transition energies for model systems but are hardly applicable to real-life cyanines and BODIPY. This indicates that setting up a computationally tractable theoretical protocol that provides both robust and accurate optical spectra for cyanine-based dyes is a major challenge that has only been taken up lately. In this Account, we compile the most recent advances in the field by considering both compact streptocyanines and large fluoroborates. For the former, we summarize the key results obtained with a large panel of theoretical approaches, allowing us not only to understand the origin of the cyanine challenge but also to pinpoint the schemes presenting the most promising accuracy/effort ratio. For the latter, we show via selected examples how theoretical models can be used to reproduce simultaneously experimental band shapes and transition energies, thus paving the way to an efficient in silico design of new compounds.