Journal of Fluorescence

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 591–597 | Cite as

Versatile Nitro-Fluorophore as Highly Effective Sensor for Hypoxic Tumor Cells: Design, Imaging and Evaluation

  • Min Dai
  • Weiping Zhu
  • Yufang Xu
  • Xuhong Qian
  • Yan Liu
  • Yi Xiao
  • Yin You
Original Paper


Based on the characteristics of a nitro-group, which can be partially or totally reduced to an amino-group in hypoxic cells, two series of hypoxic sensors containing 7H-Benzimidazole [2,1-a]benz[de]isoquinolin-7-one cores with nitro groups in different positions were designed, synthesized and evaluated. The target compounds exhibited significantly different fluorescence characteristics (fluorescence enhancement or quenching). The strong fluorescences of some partially reduced compounds could be explained through the examination of their infrared spectra, which showed a restriction of the nitro-group vibration. These compounds exhibited significant hypoxic–oxic fluorescence differences not only in numerical values but also in their fluorescent imaging properties as reported for the first time.


Nitro-fluorophore Sensor Hypoxic Tumor cell 



Financial support by National Natural Science Foundation of China and Program of Shanghai Subject Chief Scientist and the National Key Project for Basic Research (2003CB114400) is greatly appreciated. We also appreciated Dr. Ingo for the improvement of English expression.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shanghai Key Lab. Chem. BiologyEast China University of Science and TechnologyShanghaiChina
  2. 2.State Key Lab. Fine ChemicalsDalian University of TechnologyDalianChina
  3. 3.Shanghai Key Lab of Chemical Biology, School of PharmacyEast China University of Science and TechnologyShanghaiChina

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