Engineering of BODIPY-based theranostics for cancer therapy

Zhiqiang Mao, Ji Hyeon Kim, Jieun Lee, Hao Xiong, Fan Zhang, Jong Seung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, BODIPY-based theranostics have increasingly been used in cancer therapy and have achieved significant success. According to photochemical theories, the optical imaging (e.g., fluorescence [FLI]/photoacoustic [PAI]/photothermal imaging [PTI]) and phototherapy properties (photodynamic therapy [PDT] and photothermal therapy [PTT]) of BODIPY-based dyes can be well-tuned and balanced by chemical structural modifications. Furthermore, with the benefits of molecular/nanoparticle engineering, BODIPY-based theranostics can be endowed with versatile functionalities, including other cutting-edge therapeutic modalities, commendable tumor-targeting ability, and a delicate balance between imaging and therapy performance in a molecular/nano-entity, further enhancing its synergetic therapeutic potency and minimizing the undesirable side effects. In this review, we focus on BODIPY-based theranostics for tumor therapy and describe and discuss BODIPY-based FLI-guided chemotherapy, FLI-guided PDT, FLI-guided phototherapies, FLI-guided multi-modal therapies, and PAI-guided phototherapies, as well as multi-modal imaging-guided multi-modal therapies, particularly those that have become available in the last 3 years. The progress and bottlenecks of recent BODIPY-based theranostics are also itemized and discussed, describing the general design principles of BODIPY-based theranostics, with the aim of promoting the use of the theranostics in the clinical transformation of cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number214908
JournalCoordination Chemistry Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Feb 1


  • Cancer therapy
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Photothermal therapy
  • Theranostic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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