Projects per year
Recent advances in optical bioimaging have prompted the need for minimal chemical reporters that can retain the molecular recognition properties and activity profiles of biomolecules. As a result, several methodologies to reduce the size of fluorescent and Raman labels to a few atoms (e.g., single aryl fluorophores, Raman active triple bonds and isotopes) and embed them into building blocks (e.g., amino acids, nucleobases, sugars) to construct native-like supramolecular structures have been described. The integration of small optical reporters into biomolecules has also led to smart molecular entities that were previously inaccessible in an expedite manner. In this article, we review recent chemical approaches to synthesize miniaturized optical tags as well as some of their multiple applications in biological imaging.