Boron-dipyrromethene (BODIPY) platforms have been recognized as potential candidates for a wide range of applications, especially for constructing fluorescent probes due to their unique photophysical properties, outstanding photo- and chemical stabilities, and feasible derivatization. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are important chemically reactive species containing oxygen and nitrogen, respectively, which are closely associated with various physiological processes. In addition, some ROS and RNS may cause environmental concerns. Owing to their significant importance in humans, a great number of ROS/RNS fluorescent probes have been designed and widely utilized over the last few years. In particular, the development of smart fluorescent molecules for the early-stage diagnosis of cancer and surveillance of reoccurrence is becoming increasingly important for reducing cancer-related deaths. This review highlighted the design principle and applications of fluorescent probes on the basis of the BODIPY skeleton since 2015, ranging from BODIPY/aza-BODIPY small molecules and macromolecules to delicate nanoparticles for tracking of ROS/RNS and cancer imaging. Finally, their drawbacks, challenges, and perspectives for biomedical applications are also discussed.
- Cancer imaging
- Fluorescent probes