Review Article

State-of-the-art: functional fluorescent probes for bioimaging and pharmacological research

Authors: Lu Lu1, Zhou-yue Wu1, Xin Li2, Feng Han1,2
1 Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Medicine, School of Pharmacy, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 211166, China
2 College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
Correspondence to: Xin Li:, Feng Han:,
DOI: 10.1038/s41401-018-0190-8
Received: 26 June 2018
Accepted: 19 October 2019
Advance online: 28 November 2018


Cardiovascular diseases, neuropsychiatric disorders, and cancers seriously endanger human health. Mechanistic and pharmacological mechanisms of candidate drugs are central to the translational paradigm. Since many signal transduction and molecular events are implicated in these diseases, a novel method to interrogate the key pharmacological mechanisms is required to accelerate innovative drug discovery. Much attention now focuses on the real-time visualization of molecular disease events to yield new insights to the pathogenesis of the diseases. This review focuses on recent advances in the development of chemical probes for imaging pathological events to facilitate the study of the underlying pharmacodynamics and toxicity involved. As reviewed here, optical imaging is now frequently viewed as an indispensable technique in the field of biological research. Promoting interdisciplinary collaboration among chemistry, biology and medicine, is necessary to further refine functional fluorescent probes for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
Keywords: fluorescent probe; bioimaging; pharmacological research; molecular events

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