Advances in development of fluorescent probes for detecting amyloid-β aggregates

Ming Ming Xu, Wen Ming Ren, Xi Can Tang, You Hong Hu*, Hai Yan Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


With accumulating evidence suggesting that amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition is a good diagnostic biomarker for Alzheimer's disease (AD), the discovery of active Aβ probes has become an active area of research. Among the existing imaging methods, optical imaging targeting Aβ aggregates (fibrils or oligomers), especially using near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent probes, is increasingly recognized as a promising approach for the early diagnosis of AD due to its real time detection, low cost, lack of radioactive exposure and high-resolution. In the past decade, a variety of fluorescent probes have been developed and tested for efficiency in vitro, and several probes have shown efficacy in AD transgenic mice. This review classifies these representative probes based on their chemical structures and functional modes (dominant solvent-dependent mode and a novel solvent-independent mode). Moreover, the pharmaceutical characteristics of these representative probes are summarized and discussed. This review provides important perspectives for the future development of novel NIR Aβ diagnostic probes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-730
Number of pages12
JournalActa Pharmacologica Sinica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • amyloid-β
  • diagnostic biomarker
  • near-infrared fluorescent probes
  • optical imaging


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