Expanding the Chemical Space of Biocompatible Fluorophores: Nanohoops in Cells

Brittany M. White, Yu Zhao, Taryn E. Kawashima, Bruce P. Branchaud, Michael D. Pluth, Ramesh Jasti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1173-1178
Number of pages6
JournalACS Central Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 26 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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