Fluorescent dyes based on rhodamine derivatives for bioimaging and therapeutics: recent progress, challenges, and prospects

Shuang Zeng, Xiaosheng Liu, Yves S. Kafuti, Heejeong Kim, Jingyun Wang, Xiaojun Peng, Haidong Li, Juyoung Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Since their inception, rhodamine dyes have been extensively applied in biotechnology as fluorescent markers or for the detection of biomolecules owing to their good optical physical properties. Accordingly, they have emerged as a powerful tool for the visualization of living systems. In addition to fluorescence bioimaging, the molecular design of rhodamine derivatives with disease therapeutic functions (e.g., cancer and bacterial infection) has recently attracted increased research attention, which is significantly important for the construction of molecular libraries for diagnostic and therapeutic integration. However, reviews focusing on integrated design strategies for rhodamine dye-based diagnosis and treatment and their wide application in disease treatment are extremely rare. In this review, first, a brief history of the development of rhodamine fluorescent dyes, the transformation of rhodamine fluorescent dyes from bioimaging to disease therapy, and the concept of optics-based diagnosis and treatment integration and its significance to human development are presented. Next, a systematic review of several excellent rhodamine-based derivatives for bioimaging, as well as for disease diagnosis and treatment, is presented. Finally, the challenges in practical integration of rhodamine-based diagnostic and treatment dyes and the future outlook of clinical translation are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5607-5651
Number of pages45
JournalChemical Society Reviews
Issue number16
StatePublished - 24 Jul 2023

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© 2023 The Royal Society of Chemistry


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