Near-infrared (NIR) activatable fluorescent probes have been considered to be the effective edge tools for the investigation of cell biology and disease diagnosis because of their outstanding advantages. Related genes involved in tumor genesis and progression regulate the overexpression of certain enzymes. Owing to the distinctive characteristics of quick reaction time and favorable pharmacokinetics, enzyme-reactive NIR optical probes have shown great potential in the diagnosis of tumorigenesis and in image-guided intraoperative surgeries with high signal-to-noise ratios. In this review, we mainly summarize the latest advancements in enzyme-reactive NIR fluorescent probes from design strategy to biomedical application. Specifically, some challenges and prospects in this field are presented at the end of the review, which will be beneficial to innovatively construct new multifunctional fluorescent probes and actively promote their clinical transformation in the future.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation of China (No. 21421005 and U1608222 for X.P.) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (No. 2012R1A3A2048814 for J.Y.).
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- enzyme activity
- image-guided surgery
- near-infrared activation