The identification of small gaseous molecules, nitric oxide (NO), carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) as signal transmitters in living systems has revealed that these endogenously produced gases perform essential biological functions and are associated with various diseases of human concern. However, for the advancement of our understanding into the physiological and pathological roles played by these signal transductors, it is desirable to develop sensitive and specific techniques for the detection of these biological messengers. The detection method based on fluorescent molecular probes provides a proficient approach for the visualization of these gaseous molecules with respect to their production, function and adverse effects. The aim of this review is to highlight the recent developments in the field of fluorescent probes for the detection of gasotransmitters and to provide a general overview of fluorescent sensors designed for NO, CO and H2S. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
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