Enhancing NIR-II Phosphorescence through Phosphorescence Resonance Energy Transfer for Tumor-Hypoxia Imaging

Wansu Zhang, Shangyu Chen, Shuai Ye (Corresponding Author), Pengfei Sun (Corresponding Author), Quli Fan, Jun Song, Pengju Zeng, Jun Le Qu, Wai Yeung Wong (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Phosphorescence probes have emerged as a promising hypoxia detector for their excellent characters of long luminescence lifetime, large Stokes shift, and oxygen sensitivity. However, the low quantum yields of organic phosphorescence probes in the second near-infrared wavelength window (NIR-II, 1000-1700 nm) hinder their further development of NIR-II hypoxia imaging. Herein, this study reports a new NIR-II phosphorescence probe (PRET NPs) containing a phosphorescent long-lived triplet energy donor (PD) and a NIR-II fluorescent energy acceptor (FA) by using phosphorescence resonance energy transfer (PRET) strategy. Because of the suitable spectral overlap of PD and FA, PRET NPs exhibit high NIR-II quantum yield in both normoxic and oxygen-free atmospheres. Based on that, in the in vivo tumor hypoxia imaging experiments, PRET NPs also exhibit high brightness and signal-to-background ratio (SBR) of NIR-II tumor-hypoxia imaging. Therefore, this study illustrates a general approach based on "PRET"strategy to develop bright NIR-II phosphorescent probes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-124
Number of pages9
JournalACS Materials Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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