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Keywords:

  • caged compounds;
  • cell signaling;
  • photochemistry;
  • protecting groups;
  • signal transduction

Abstract

Molecular systems that can be remotely controlled by light are gaining increasing importance in cell biology, physiology, and neurosciences because of the spatial and temporal precision that is achievable with laser microscopy. Two-photon excitation has significant advantages deep in biological tissues, but raises problems in the design of “smart” probes compatible with cell physiology. This Review discusses the chemical challenges in generating suitable two-photon probes.