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14 Iridium(III) Complexes in Bio-Imaging Including Mitochondria

From the book Metal Ions in Bio-Imaging Techniques

  • Cai-Ping Tan , Jie Wang , Liang-Nian Ji and Zong-Wan Mao


Fluorescence microscopic cell imaging is a very powerful tool in medicinal research and life sciences. Fluorescence microscopy can not only image different subcellular organelles such as nuclei, mitochondria and lysosomes, but also monitor the contents of metabolic species and cellular microenvironments. Many organic fluorescent probes for optical imaging have been commercialized in the past few decades. However, organic fluorescent probes have some disadvantages, such as relatively small Stokes shifts, low signal-to-noise ratio, obvious selfquenching, and intolerance of photobleaching, which make them unsuitable for long-term tracking of biological events. Compared with organic fluorescence probes, emissive transition metal iridium(III) complexes with low-spin d6 electronic structure have been widely used as biosensors and imaging agents in recent years. They show good chemical and photo-physical properties including large Stokes shifts, high quantum yields, long fluorescence lifetimes, and high photo-stability. In this chapter, we will focus on the applications of iridium(III) complexes in biological imaging, especially in imaging of subcellular organelles including mitochondria, lysosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, and nuclei. In order to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the applications of iridium complexes in life sciences, we also give a brief introduction to the progress of iridium complexes as anticancer agents in recent years, especially the anticancer agents or photosensitizers targeting mitochondria.

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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