The present invention provides formulae for fluorescent compounds that have a number of properties which make them uniquely suited for use in sensors of analytes such as saccharides. The advantageous fluorescent properties include favorable excitation wavelengths, emission wavelengths, fluorescence lifetimes, and photostability. Additional advantageous properties include enhanced aqueous solubility, as well as temperature and pH sensitivity. The compound comprises an aryl or a substituted phenyl botonic acid that acts as a substrate recognition component, a fluorescence switch component, and a fluorophore. Fluorescent compounds are described that are excited at wavelengths greater than 400 nm and emit at wavelengths greater than 450 nm, which is advantageous for optical transmission through skin. The fluorophore is typically selected from transition metal-ligand complexes and thiazine, oxazine, oxazone, or oxazine-one as well as anthracene compounds. The fluorescent compound can be immobilized in a glucose permeable biocompatible polymer matrix that is implantable below the skin.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.