Near-Infrared Dioxetane Luminophores with Direct Chemiluminescence Emission Mode

J Am Chem Soc. 2017 Sep 20;139(37):13243-13248. doi: 10.1021/jacs.7b08446. Epub 2017 Sep 11.


Chemiluminescent luminophores are considered as one of the most sensitive families of probes for detection and imaging applications. Due to their high signal-to-noise ratios, luminophores with near-infrared (NIR) emission are particularly important for in vivo use. In addition, light with such long wavelength has significantly greater capability for penetration through organic tissue. So far, only a few reports have described the use of chemiluminescence systems for in vivo imaging. Such systems are always based on an energy-transfer process from a chemiluminescent precursor to a nearby emissive fluorescent dye. Here, we describe the development of the first chemiluminescent luminophores with a direct mode of NIR light emission that are suitable for use under physiological conditions. Our strategy is based on incorporation of a substituent with an extended π-electron system on the excited species obtained during the chemiexcitation pathway of Schaap's adamantylidene-dioxetane probe. In this manner, we designed and synthesized two new luminophores with direct light emission wavelength in the NIR region. Masking of the luminophores with analyte-responsive groups has resulted in turn-ON probes for detection and imaging of β-galactosidase and hydrogen peroxide. The probes' ability to image their corresponding analyte/enzyme was effectively demonstrated in vitro for β-galactosidase activity and in vivo in a mouse model of inflammation. We anticipate that our strategy for obtaining NIR luminophores will open new doors for further exploration of complex biomolecular systems using non-invasive intravital chemiluminescence imaging techniques.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't