Chromophoric Dendrimer-Based Materials: An Overview of Holistic-Integrated Molecular Systems for Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) Phenomenon

Polymers (Basel). 2021 Dec 15;13(24):4404. doi: 10.3390/polym13244404.


Dendrimers (from the Greek dendros → tree; meros → part) are macromolecules with well-defined three-dimensional and tree-like structures. Remarkably, this hyperbranched architecture is one of the most ubiquitous, prolific, and recognizable natural patterns observed in nature. The rational design and the synthesis of highly functionalized architectures have been motivated by the need to mimic synthetic and natural-light-induced energy processes. Dendrimers offer an attractive material scaffold to generate innovative, technological, and functional materials because they provide a high amount of peripherally functional groups and void nanoreservoirs. Therefore, dendrimers emerge as excellent candidates since they can play a highly relevant role as unimolecular reactors at the nanoscale, acting as versatile and sophisticated entities. In particular, they can play a key role in the properties of light-energy harvesting and non-radiative energy transfer, allowing them to function as a whole unit. Remarkably, it is possible to promote the occurrence of the FRET phenomenon to concentrate the absorbed energy in photoactive centers. Finally, we think an in-depth understanding of this mechanism allows for diverse and prolific technological applications, such as imaging, biomedical therapy, and the conversion and storage of light energy, among others.

PMID:34960954 | PMC:PMC8705239 | DOI:10.3390/polym13244404


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