Project TitleCompounds for Cell Staining, Labeling and Biological Analysis
Track CodeLSU-2005-007
Short Description

LSU researchers have developed a family of highly fluorescent, stable, and tunable metal-phthalocyanine (Pc) and tetraazaporphrin compounds that can be used for a variety of applications including staining, labeling, and biological and genetic analysis.

The compounds have very high photon emission yields. Hydrophilic ethylene glycol substituents cause these compounds to be readily absorbed by cells, even in low concentrations.  The compounds readily conjugate to biomolecules such as peptides, nucleic acids, nucleotides and oligonucleotides. Additionally, the compounds are easily tunable for particular uses by selectively altering the substituents, the central metal ion, or the axial ligands, without sacrificing photon yield.

The dyes also fluoresce in the near infrared light spectrum (>600 nm), such that interference from other naturally occurring compounds in the biological species is greatly reduced. Moreover, these compounds cause apoptosis, have low dark cytotoxicity and high cytotoxicity following near-IR photo activation making them suitable for cancer therapy.


Asymmetrically substituted metal-phthalocyanine compounds are disclosed. These compounds and other phthalocyanine-derivatives are used in bioimaging, bioanalysis, FRET and quenching techniques, photodynamic therapy, DNA analysis for cells, proteins, tissues and other biological entities, and other applications. Near-infrared fluorescence
minimizes matrix effects typically seen in other methods of analyzing biochemical entities in cells, proteins, tissues and other biological entities.

Posted DateJul 18, 2017 12:14 PM


  • Easily tunable by selective alteration of substituents, central metal ion, or axial ligands.
  • Stability to withstand thermal and chemical conditions needed to prep biological assays.
  • High brightness; select Pc dyes can produce 105 photons per molecule, compared with only 10 photons per molecule for tricarbocyanine or similar dyes.
  • Readily absorbed, even at low concentrations.
  • Longer dark shelf life than other photodynamic therapy compounds.
  • Near-infrared fluorescence minimizes matrix effects.
  • Deeper tissue penetration (up to 15 cm) than other photodynamic therapy compounds due to near-IR activation.


  • Staining and labeling; including mitochondrial staining.
  • Bioanalytical studies and DNA analysis.
  • Photodynamic therapy.
  • FRET or other quenching techniques.
  • Bioimaging

Licensing Contact


File Name Description
US 8,524,891: Tetraazaporphyrin-Based Compounds and Their Uses Tetraazaporphyrin-Based Compounds and Their Uses Download
LSU-2005-007 Tech Summary Compounds for Cell Staining, Labeling and Biological Analysis Download

Intellectual Property

Patent Number Issue Date Type Country of Filing
US 8,524,891 Sep 3, 2013 Utility United States