Amphiphilic macromolecules with multiple borondipyrromethene (BODIPY) chromophores appended to a common poly(methacrylate) backbone were synthesized by the random co-polymerization of appropriate methacrylate monomers. The resulting polymers incorporate also hydrophilic oligo(ethylene glycol) and hydrophobic decyl side chains designed to impose aqueous solubility and insulate the chromophoric components from each other respectively. The presence of multiple chromophores translates into a significant enhancement in molar absorption coefficient, relative to a model BODIPY monomer. The effective insulation of the fluorophores minimizes interchromophoric interactions and mitigates depressive effects on the fluorescence quantum yield. The overall result is a 6-fold enhancement in brightness, relative to the model monomer. These macromolecular probes can be injected into live Caenorhabditis elegans to allow their visualization with a 4-fold increase in signal intensity, relative to the model system. Furthermore, they can be conjugated to secondary antibodies, under standard amide-coupling conditions, with negligible influence on the binding affinity of the biomoleucles to allow the implementation of immunolabeling protocols.
Ek Raj Thapaliya, Yang Zhang, Pravat Dhakal, Adrienne S. Brown, James N. Wilson, Kevin M. Collins, and Françisco M. Raymo, "Bright and compact macromolecular probes for bioimaging applications," Proc. SPIE 10507, Colloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications XIII, 105070P (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2018; Published: 23 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2287852.
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