Small Molecule Fluorescent Probe

Sensitivity of detection method with ROC, comparison of NIR probe with conventional

Invention Summary:

Fluorophores in the near infrared (NIR) range, where body tissue is transparent, are promising alternatives to radioactive labels. Conjugation of NIR dyes to targeting agents enables specific detection of molecules of interest. However, conventional NIR probes are bulky, resulting in interference with the activity of the targeting molecule and limited cell uptake.

In response to these challenges, Rutgers researchers have developed a small, DDAO-derived, near infrared fluorophore that can be conjugated to a targeting agent via a linker. The targeting agent may be a drug, providing the opportunity for a theranostic platform. When the fluorophore is conjugated to a targeting agent with aromatic groups, the targeting agent quenches the fluorophore until it binds with its target. This phenomenon can greatly reduce the background emission of unbound conjugates.

This novel fluorophore is well-suited for both in vivo and in vitro imaging and for applications in research and diagnostics.

Market Applications:

  • Research tool
  • Diagnostic
  • Theranostics
  • In vivo molecular imaging
  • Cellular analysis
  • Genomics and Proteomics
  • Drug discovery


  • Small, uncharged fluorophore
    • Increased uptake by cells
    • Maintain targeting agent activity
  • Emission at 660-680 nm: tissue transparent
  • pH-independent emission
  • Increased brightness
  • Low emission from unbound conjugates
  • Simple conjugation with targeting agents

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Issued and pending patents. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Ryan Escolin
Licensing Manager, Life Sciences
Rutgers University
Drug Discovery/Screening