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Pyrazole-substituted Near-infrared Cyanine Dyes Exhibit pH-dependent Fluorescence Lifetime Properties

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Corresponding author email: achilefus@mir.wustl.edu

Abstract

Near-infrared heptamethine cyanine dye is functionalized with pyrazole derivatives at the meso-position to induce pH-dependent photophysical properties. The presence of pyrazole unsubstituted at 1N-position is essential to induce pH-dependent fluorescence intensity and lifetime changes in these dyes. Replacement of meso-chloro group of cyanine dye IR820 with 1N-unsubstituted pyrazole resulted in the pH-dependent fluorescence lifetime changes from 0.93 ns in neutral media to 1.27 ns in acidic media in DMSO. Time-resolved emission spectra (TRES) revealed that at lower pH, the pyrazole consists of fluorophores with two distinct lifetimes, which cor-responds to pH-sensitive and non-pH-sensitive species. In contrast, 1N-substituted pyrazoles do not exhibit pH response, suggesting excited state electron transfer as the mechanism of pH-dependent fluorescence lifetime sensitivity for this class of compounds.

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