Ng KK & Zheng G
Chemical Reviews, 2015
Optical and photonic technologies play an important role in human progress. The bending of light to our will has not only enabled our biological self-discovery, but has also allowed us to probe and investigate the natural life around us. These advancements have also served a critical role in modern medicine through phototheranostics, which is the application of light for diagnosis (photodiagnosis) and treatment (phototherapeutic) of disease. There has been significant progress in the application of photonics in medicine in recent decades due to improvements in light generation, delivery, and sensing technologies. Part of the success of photonic techniques in medicine is attributed to the parallel advancements in optical probes, chemical dyes and photosensitizers, which have improved the contrast of biological tissues and enabled localized phototherapy. The advent of nanotechnology has also expanded the optical probe space to encompass ensembles and assemblies of molecules. While this has increased complexity, it has also presented a wealth of opportunities that can be exploited in the development of novel probes that are multifunctional, possess target selectivity, and can react to environmental stimuli.