Photoinduced electron transfer (PeT) based fluorescent probes for cellular imaging and disease therapy

Huiyu Niu, Junwei Liu, Helen M. O'Connor, Thorfinnur Gunnlaugsson, Tony D. James, Hua Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Citations (SciVal)


Typical PeT-based fluorescent probes are multi-component systems where a fluorophore is connected to a recognition/activating group by an unconjugated linker. PeT-based fluorescent probes are powerful tools for cell imaging and disease diagnosis due to their low fluorescence background and significant fluorescence enhancement towards the target. This review provides research progress towards PeT-based fluorescent probes that target cell polarity, pH and biological species (reactive oxygen species, biothiols, biomacromolecules, etc.) over the last five years. In particular, we emphasise the molecular design strategies, mechanisms, and application of these probes. As such, this review aims to provide guidance and to enable researchers to develop new and improved PeT-based fluorescent probes, as well as promoting the use of PeT-based systems for sensing, imaging, and disease therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2322-2357
Number of pages36
JournalChemical Society Reviews
Issue number7
Early online date22 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (U21A20314, 22107089, 21722501); T. D. J. wishes to thank the Royal Society for a Wolfson Research Merit Award and the Open Research Fund of the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Henan Normal University for support (2020ZD01). T. D. J. has been appointed as an Outstanding Talent by Henan Normal University. T. G. and H. M. O. C. thank the Irish Research Council for support (IRC: GOIPD/2020/849).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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