Bright and compact macromolecular probes for bioimaging applications

Ek Raj Thapaliya, Yang Zhang, Pravat Dhakal, Adrienne S. Brown, James N. Wilson, Kevin M. Collins, Françisco M. Raymo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Amphiphilic macromolecules with multiple borondipyrromethene (BODIPY) chromophores appended to a common poly(methacrylate) backbone were synthesized by the random co-polymerization of appropriate methacrylate monomers. The resulting polymers incorporate also hydrophilic oligo(ethylene glycol) and hydrophobic decyl side chains designed to impose aqueous solubility and insulate the chromophoric components from each other respectively. The presence of multiple chromophores translates into a significant enhancement in molar absorption coefficient, relative to a model BODIPY monomer. The effective insulation of the fluorophores minimizes interchromophoric interactions and mitigates depressive effects on the fluorescence quantum yield. The overall result is a 6-fold enhancement in brightness, relative to the model monomer. These macromolecular probes can be injected into live Caenorhabditis elegans to allow their visualization with a 4-fold increase in signal intensity, relative to the model system. Furthermore, they can be conjugated to secondary antibodies, under standard amide-coupling conditions, with negligible influence on the binding affinity of the biomoleucles to allow the implementation of immunolabeling protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationColloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications XIII
EditorsWolfgang J. Parak, Marek Osinski, Xing-Jie Liang
ISBN (Electronic)9781510614994
StatePublished - 2018
EventColloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications XIII 2018 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Jan 27 2018Jan 29 2018

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceColloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications XIII 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Amphiphilic polymers
  • fluorescence imaging
  • immunolabeling
  • macromolecular probes
  • nanoparticles
  • self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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