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Therapeutic applications of near-infrared dyes

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Abstract

The interaction of dyes with cells and tissue is well understood, and the use of light-activated compounds in therapy is becoming more established. However, the application of near-infrared light in these areas, particularly from a therapeutic angle, has received little attention. With greatly improved access to near-infrared light sources, there is considerable potential for therapeutic advances due to the increased tissue penetration offered by wavelengths in the 700–1000 nm region, particularly regarding blood vessel disorders and larger or deeper-seated tumours. The design and development of suitably absorbing dyes to take advantage of near-infraread illumination is discussed for the major structural types.

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