Laboratory for Molecular Photonics


Department of Chemistry

University of Miami

Goal: The goal of this project is the development of activatable fluorophores designed to permit the selective detection of cancer cells with intense signals against dark backgrounds.


Results: The Laboratory of Molecular Photonics develops activatable macromolecular probes designed to switch their bright fluorescence on exclusively within the acidic organelles of cancer cells.


Keywords: Borondipyrromethenes Cancer Detection Coumarins Fluorescence Halochromism Macromolecular Probes Molecular Switches Oxazines Polymers



The selective internalization of pH-activatable macromolecular probes in the acidic organelles of cancer cells allows their detection with high brightness and contrast.

Selected Articles

"Highlighting Cancer Cells with Halochromic Switches": S. Tang, Y. Zhang, E. R. Thapaliya, A. Brown, J. N. Wilson, F. M. Raymo, ACS Sensors, 2017, 2, 92–101

 "Bioimaging with Macromolecular Probes Incorporating Multiple BODIPY Fluorophores": E. R. Thapaliya, Y. Zhang, P. Dhakal, A. S. Brown, J. N. Wilson, K. M. Collins, F. M. Raymo, Bioconjugate Chem., 2017, 28, 1519–1528