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Recent Advances In Luminescence Imaging Of Biological Systems Using Lanthanide(III) Luminescent Complexes

Jorge H. S. K. Monteiro

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The use of luminescence in biological systems allows one to diagnose diseases and understand cellular processes. Molecular systems, particularly lanthanide(III) complexes, have emerged as an attractive system for application in cellular luminescence imaging due to their long emission lifetimes, high brightness, possibility of controlling the spectroscopic properties at the molecular level, and tailoring of the ligand structure that adds sensing and therapeutic capabilities. This review aims to provide a background in luminescence imaging and lanthanide spectroscopy and discuss selected examples from the recent literature on lanthanide(III) luminescent complexes in cellular luminescence imaging, published in the period 2016–2020. Finally, the challenges and future directions that are pointing for the development of compounds that are capable of executing multiple functions and the use of light in regions where tissues and cells have low absorption will be discussed.