The design and optimization of fluorescent molecules has driven the ability to interrogate complex biological events in real time. Notably, most advances in bioimaging fluorophores are based on optimization of core structures that have been known for over a century. Recently, new synthetic methods have resulted in an explosion of nonplanar conjugated macrocyclic molecules with unique optical properties yet to be harnessed in a biological context. Herein we report the synthesis of the first aqueous-soluble carbon nanohoop (i.e., a macrocyclic slice of a carbon nanotube prepared via organic synthesis) and demonstrate its bioimaging capabilities in live cells. Moreover, we illustrate that these scaffolds can be easily modified by well-established "click" chemistry to enable targeted live cell imaging. This work establishes the nanohoops as an exciting new class of macrocyclic fluorophores poised for further development as novel bioimaging tools.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)