Activatable fluorescent and chemiluminescent dyes with near-infrared emission have indispensable roles in the fields of bioimaging, molecular prodrugs, and phototheranostic agents. As one of the most popular fluorophore scaffolds, the dicyanomethylene-4H-pyran scaffold has been applied to fabricate a large number of versatile activatable optical dyes for analytes detection and diseases diagnosis and treatment by virtue of its high photostability, large Stokes shift, considerable two-photon absorption cross-section, and structural modifiability. This review discusses the molecular design strategies, recognition mechanisms, and both in vitro and in vivo bio-applications (especially for diagnosis and therapy of tumors) of activatable dicyanomethylene-4H-pyran dyes. The final section describes the current shortcomings and future development prospects of this topic.
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- Activatable Fluorescent Probes
- Dicyanomethylene-4H-Pyran Dyes
- Fluorescence Imaging
- NIR Chemiluminescence