EuroTracker (R) dyes: design, synthesis, structure and photophysical properties of very bright europium complexes and their use in bioassays and cellular optical imaging

The development of the brightest luminescent europium(III) complexes is traced, including analysis of the C3-symmetric core complex based on a functionalized triazacyclononane and identification of the most suitable strongly absorbing chromophore. Strategies for the synthesis of the complexes, including enantiopure analogues, are outlined and opportunities for applications in time-resolved microscopy and spectral imaging emphasised. Practicable examples are introduced, including selective organelle staining for cellular optical imaging at 65 nm resolution and the development of new bioassays using time resolved FRET methods.