Synthesis and Spectroscopic and Cellular Properties of Near-IR [a]Phenanthrene-Fused 4,4-Difluoro-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-s-indacenes

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© 2017 American Chemical Society. A new synthetic method to build aryl-fused 4,4-difluoro-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-s-indacenes (BODIPYs) is reported. The intramolecular cyclization step was completed in a short time (1-2 h) and in high yields (>90%), due to the intrinsic rigid structural conformation of the precursor BODIPY and the high reactivity of its 1,7-bromo groups. The [a]phenanthrene-fused BODIPYs 4a-c were characterized by NMR spectroscopy, HRMS, DFT calculations, and, in the case of 4a, by X-ray crystallography. Spectroscopic studies show that 4a-c strongly absorb and emit in the NIR spectral region, in the range 642-701 nm. In addition, BODIPYs 4b and 4c exhibit no toxicity in the light or dark in HEp2 cells and accumulate intracellularly in a time-dependent manner, mainly in the cell endoplasmic reticulum. These results suggest the potential use of [a]phenanthrene-fused BODIPYs as NIR bioimaging probes.

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Journal of Organic Chemistry

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