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Biophysics and Photoswitch Development

Our photoswitchable reagents for tubulin and for TRP channels rely on the right merge of photoswitch with bioactive pharmacophore, to address these biological targets with the right assay performance. Azobenzenes are popular go-to photoswitches for chemical reasons (ease of synthesis, reliability of photoswitching), but research from us and many others is making it clear that there are large application spaces in biology (particularly, systemic long-term in vivo biology) where photoswitches with different properties are urgently needed. This page brings together some of our general photoswitching methods advances.

Catalytic access to per-ortho-alkoxylated azobenzenes: better E→Z & Z→E yields, tuned physicochemical properties (JOC 2022) Z→E switching below 1.0 nm, and a noninvasive method to monitor E/Z ratios, via soft and hard X-rays (Nanophotonics 2022)

Markus and Ben are also developing new ranges of biologically-complementary photoswitch types. Photobleaching resistance, wavelength tuning, ultrafast dynamics - just some of the many facets of photochemistry!

Stay wavelength-tuned...