Metal complexes are widely used for the treatment of numerous pathologies (cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis…). Despite their use in clinics, their mechanisms of action are still poorly known. An elegant way to elucidate them is to synthesize labelled therapeutic agents that can be tracked in vitro and in vivo by medical imaging. The problem of most reported labelled drugs is the reliability of the information that they provide. Indeed, if the link between the probe and the therapeutic moiety is broken, the observed signal will only enable to track the label moiety. So knowing if this link is broken or not is crucial.
The main aim of this project is to design “smart probes” that can enable the tracking of metal based drugs and at the same time give information on the state/integrity of the compound. Two types of probes will be investigated: “ON/OFF” probes which emit fluorescence (“on” mode) when they are attached to the metal centre and not when the metal decoordinates (“off” mode) and “multicolour” probes which display different fluorescent emission depending on the state of the complex.
Principal Investigator: Dr Ewen Bodio