Recent Developments in Semiconducting Polymer Dots for Analytical Detection and NIR-II Fluorescence Imaging

Meenakshi Verma, Yang Hsiang Chan, Sampa Saha, Ming Ho Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


In recent years, semiconducting polymer dots (Pdots) have attracted enormous attention in applications from fundamental analytical detection to advanced deep-tissue bioimaging due to their ultrahigh fluorescence brightness with excellent photostability and minimal cytotoxicity. Pdots have therefore been widely adopted for a variety types of molecular sensing for analytical detection. More importantly, the recent development of Pdots for use in the optical window between 1000 and 1700 nm, popularly known as the "second near-infrared window"(NIR-II), has emerged as a class of optical transparent imaging technology in the living body. The advantages of the NIR-II region over the traditional NIR-I (700-900 nm) window in fluorescence imaging originate from the reduced autofluorescence, minimal absorption and scattering of light, and improved penetration depths to yield high spatiotemporal images for biological tissues. Herein, we discuss and summarize the recent developments of Pdots employed for analytical detection and NIR-II fluorescence imaging. Starting with their preparation, the recent developments for targeting various analytes are then highlighted. After that, the importance of and latest progress in NIR-II fluorescence imaging using Pdots are reported. Finally, perspectives and challenges associated with the emergence of Pdots in different fields are given.

Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • analytical detection
  • fluorescent probes
  • NIR-I
  • NIR-II
  • Pdots
  • point-of-care (POC)
  • semiconducting polymers


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