A bright blue fluorescent dextran for two-photon in vivo imaging of blood vessels

Seo Hyeon Lee, Young Ho Choe, Rae Hyung Kang, Yu Rim Kim, Na Hee Kim, Sangrim Kang, Youngseo Kim, Sungnam Park, Young Min Hyun, Dokyoung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Fluorescence-based in vivo imaging is one of the most important tools for monitoring of biological processes in cells and tissues of live animal models. Fluorescence imaging agents have also been used to monitor the microcirculation. Tracking microcirculation of the blood is vital to gain further insight into various vascular disease-related anomalies within the human body. As monitoring of vascular circulation is performed with visualization of both immune cells and pathogens, which are mainly labelled with red and green, the favorable color option for blood vessels could be blue. However, currently available blueish color-labeled agents for vascular monitoring is generally confronted with quick bleaching, because of its short excitation and emission wavelengths. Hereby, what we propose in this report is a newly generated bright blue fluorescent dextran, named HCD-70K that monitors the blood vessels using blue and inter-compatible typical fluorescent materials. DBCO-functionalized dextran-70K was fabricated with hydroxy-coumarin dye via metal-free bioorthogonal click chemistry, and generated HCD-70K, which can flow within the blood vessel and decipher the whole structure of the blood vessel successfully. The synthesis, spectroscopic analysis, and quantum chemical calculations were conducted. Using two-photon microscopy, efficient deep in vivo blood vessel imaging of a mouse model revealed exceptional bio-imaging capabilities of the HCD-70K and consequently it provided a promising opportunity for efficient vascular visualization in various research areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103019
JournalBioorganic Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug


  • Blood vessel staining
  • Blue-emitting dextran
  • Fluorescent polymer
  • In vivo imaging
  • Two-photon imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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