Synthesis and application of novel near infrared cyanine dyes and optical imaging agents
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The use of fluorescent imaging probes for the real time detection of cellular malfunctions, such as enzyme over expression has shown promise. Fluorescent dyes with absorption and emission values below 600 nm are limited in their in vivo applications due to high background auto-fluorescence and low resolution images. Employing near infrared (NIR) fluorophores such as cyanine dyes can overcome this disadvantage. Cyanine dyes can be synthesised using solution or solid-phase techniques with the use of solution phase chemistry allowing for larger scale and higher yielding reactions. Utilising a selection of functional groups and varying polymethine chain lengths a cyanine dye library with tuneable absorption and emission wavelengths was synthesised. This thesis gives the first detailed examples of how modifications on heptamethine cyanine dyes alter their cellular uptake and cellular toxicity. Furthermore, a NIR fluorescent microsphere is reported as well as NIR functionalised microspheres with the ability to be tracked within cells. Additional lines of work involved the synthesis of a fluorescent sensor for the visualisation of bacteria. Aminopeptidases are present within the peptidoglycan cell wall of Gram negative bacteria and therefore can be targeted for real time detection of bacteria to aid in the detection of infectious diseases. A coumarin based probe is reported which detects aminopeptidase in gram negative bacteria in vitro.