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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2013 Aug;17(4):699-707. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2013.05.023. Epub 2013 Jun 18.

Phosphorescence bioimaging using cyclometalated Ir(III) complexes.

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Department of Advanced Materials Engineering for Information and Electronics, Kyung Hee University, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do 446-701, Republic of Korea.


Recent advances in the development of the phosphorescent Ir(III) complexes have made it possible to implement the phosphorescence modality in bioimaging applications. A variety of phosphorescent Ir(III) complexes have been synthesized and assessed in the context of in vitro and in vivo imaging, especially in subcellular organelle staining and the sensing of biologically important analytes. The examples presented here demonstrate that Ir(III) complexes provide attractive alternatives to fluorescent organic compounds in the construction of biolabels and biosensors. The complexes are particularly advantageous with respect to fluorescent compounds in their compatibility with time-gated bioimaging techniques that completely eliminate background signals due to autofluorescence.

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