BODIPY as a Multifunctional Theranostic Reagent in Biomedicine: Self-Assembly, Properties, and Applications

Hong Bo Cheng, Xiaoqiao Cao, Shuchun Zhang, Keyue Zhang, Yang Cheng, Jiaqi Wang, Jing Zhao, Liming Zhou, Xing Jie Liang, Juyoung Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


The use of boron dipyrromethene (BODIPY) in biomedicine is reviewed. To open, its synthesis and regulatory strategies are summarized, and inspiring cutting-edge work in post-functionalization strategies is highlighted. A brief overview of assembly model of BODIPY is then provided: BODIPY is introduced as a promising building block for the formation of single- and multicomponent self-assembled systems, including nanostructures suitable for aqueous environments, thereby showing the great development potential of supramolecular assembly in biomedicine applications. The frontier progress of BODIPY in biomedical application is thereafter described, supported by examples of the frontiers of biomedical applications of BODIPY-containing smart materials: it mainly involves the application of materials based on BODIPY building blocks and their assemblies in fluorescence bioimaging, photoacoustic imaging, disease treatment including photodynamic therapy, photothermal therapy, and immunotherapy. Lastly, not only the current status of the BODIPY family in the biomedical field but also the challenges worth considering are summarized. At the same time, insights into the future development prospects of biomedically applicable BODIPY are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2207546
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number18
StatePublished - 4 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • biomedicine
  • boron dipyrromethene (BODIPY)
  • fluorescent dyes
  • self-assembly
  • theranostic reagents


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