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Title:
WATER-SOLUBLE POLYMERIC DYES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/111774
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Water soluble polymeric dyes and polymeric tandem dyes are provided. The polymeric dyes include a water solvated light harvesting multichromophore having a conjugated segment of aryl or heteroaryl co-monomers including branched non-ionic water soluble groups (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers. In some cases, the branched non-ionic water soluble groups (WSG) of the present disclosure are capable of imparting solubility in water in excess of 50 mg/mL to the multichromophore. The polymeric tandem dyes further include a signaling chromophore covalently linked to the multichromophore in energy-receiving proximity therewith. Also provided are aggregation-resistant labelled specific binding members that include the subject water soluble polymeric dyes. Methods of evaluating a sample for the presence of a target analyte and methods of labelling a target molecule in which the subject polymeric dyes find use are also provided. Systems and kits for practicing the subject methods are also provided.

Inventors:
BARTHOLOMEW, Glenn P. (995 Amethyst Way, Escondido, California, 92029, US)
LIANG, Yongchao (8 La Quinta, Irvine, California, 92612, US)
Application Number:
US2017/065615
Publication Date:
June 21, 2018
Filing Date:
December 11, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BECTON, DICKINSON AND COMPANY (1 Becton Drive, MC110Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, 07417-1880, US)
International Classes:
C09B69/10
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011091086A12011-07-28
WO2016144652A12016-09-15
WO2017105928A12017-06-22
Foreign References:
US20160266131A12016-09-15
US20080293164A12008-11-27
Other References:
LIU, J. ET AL.: "PEGylated conjugated polyelectrolytes containing 2,1,3- benzoxadiazole units for targeted cell imaging", POLYMER CHEMISTRY, vol. 3, no. 6, 2012, pages 1567 - 1575, XP055493592
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FIELD, Bret E. (201 Redwood Shores Parkway, Suite 200Redwood City, California, 94065, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A water soluble light harvesting multichromophore comprising a conjugated segment having the structure of formula (I):

wherein:

F1 is a fused tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a water soluble group (WSG); M1 is an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

* denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group;

wherein at least one of F1 and M1 is substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6-50 monomeric units; wherein the branched non-ionic water soluble group is capable of imparting solubility in water in excess of 50 mg/mL to the multichromophore.

2. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to claim 1 , wherein the fused tricyclic co-monomer is described by the following structure:

where:

Y is C(R3)2, -C(R3)2C(R3)2-, -C(R3)2Si(R3)2-, NR3, Si(R3)2 or Se;

each Z is independently CH, CR or N, wherein at least two of Z in each ring is CH or CR;

each R3 is independently selected from H, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, amido, substituted amido, an aralkyl, a substituted aralkyl, a PEG moiety, -L1-Z1, where L1 is a linker and Z1 is a chemoselective tag and a WSG; and each R is independently selected from H, WSG, halogen, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, alkyi and substituted alkyi or wherein two R groups are optionally cyclically linked to provide a carbocyclic or heterocyclic ring.

3. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to claim 2, wherein the fused tricyclic co-monomer is described by one of the following structures:

wherein:

each R3 is independently selected from H, alkyi, substituted alkyi, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, amido, substituted amido, an aralkyi, a substituted aralkyi, a PEG moiety, -L1-Z1, where L1 is a linker and Z1 is a chemoselective tag and a WSG; and each R is independently selected from H, WSG, halogen, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, alkyi and substituted alkyi or wherein two R groups are optionally cyclically linked to provide a carbocyclic or heterocyclic ring.

4. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to claim 1 , wherein the branched non-ionic WSG has one of the following formulae:

wherein:

each B1 and B2 are independently a branching group;

each W1 is independently a water soluble polymer comprising 6-24 monomeric units;

T3 is an optional linker to the fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co-monomer; and

each p and q are independently 0 or 1 , wherein if present, each T1 and each T2 are independently a linker.

5. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to claim 4, wherein the branched non-ionic W is selected from one of the following structures:

wherein:

T5 is an optional linker to the fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co-monomer;

T6 is a linker;

each s is an integer from 6 to 24; and

each R11 is independently hydrogen, an alkyl or a substituted alkyl.

6. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to claim 1 , wherein F1 is selected from one of the following co-monomers:

7. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to claim 1 , wherein the multichromophore has the structure of formula (III):

(III)

wherein:

F1 is the fused tricyclic co-monomer;

M1, M2 and L1 are independently an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

Z1 is a linked chemoselective functional group or a linked acceptor chromophore; each n is independently an integer from 1 to 10,000;

each m is 0 or independently an integer from 1 to 10,000;

p is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and G1 and G2 are each independently selected from a terminal group, a π conjugated segment, a linker and a linked specific binding member.

8. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to claim 7, wherein the multichromophore has the structure of formula (IV):

9. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to claim 8, wherein L1 has the structure:

wherein:

R3 is a non-ionic water soluble group (WSG);

R4 is L2-Z2 wherein L2 is a linker and Z2 is the chemoselective functional group or acceptor chromophore; and

each R is independently selected from H, WSG, halogen, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, alkyi and substituted alkyi or wherein two R groups are optionally cyclically linked to provide a carbocyclic or heterocyclic ring.

10. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to claim 9, wherein L1 has one of the following structures:

11. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to claim 1 , wherein the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomers are independently selected from one of formulae (XXIII)-(XXVI):

(XXIV) (XXV) (XXVI) wherein

Cy2-7 is an aryl or heteroaryl group comprising 2 to 7 fused and/or unfused rings;

Y2, Y3 and Y4 are independently selected from -CR3-, NR3, N, O, S and -C(=0)- and together form a 5 or 6 membered fused aryl or heteraryl ring;

each R3 is one or more ring substituents independently selected from H, halogen, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy substituted alkoxy and -T1-Z1;

R1 and R2 are independently selected from H, halogen, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy and -T1-Z1, or R1 and R2 together form a 5- or 6- membered fused aryl, heteroaryl ring, cycloalkyi or heterocycle which can be optionally substituted;

Y5 is N or CR5 and Y7 is N or CR7;

R4-R7 are independently selected from H, halogen, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy and -T1-Z1 ;

Z1 is a chemoselective functional group or a linked signaling chromophore; and

T1 is a linker.

12. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to claim 11 , wherein the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomers are independently selected from one of the following structures (a) to (x):

Y8 is C(R3)2, -C(R3)2C(R3)2-, -C(R3)2Si(R3)2-, NR3 or Si(R3)2;

X is S or O;

each R3 is independently H, a water soluble group, amino, substituted amino, halogen, cyano, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy and - T1-Z1;

R1 and R2 are independently selected from H, halogen, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy and -T1-Z1, or R1 and R2 together form a 5- or 6- membered fused aryl, heteroaryl, cycloalkyi or heterocycle ring which can be optionally substituted;

Z1 is a chemoselective functional group or a linked signaling chromophore; and T1 is a linker.

13. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to claim 12, wherein the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomers are independently selected from one of the

wherein:

X is S or O;

each R4 is independently H, a water solubilizing group, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy and -T1-Z1; and

R1 and R2 are independently selected from H, halogen, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy and -T1-Z1, or R1 and R2 together form a 5- or 6- membered fused aryl or heteroaryl ring which can be optionally substituted.

14. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to claim 1 , wherein the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomers are independently selected from a substituted or unsubstituted 1 ,4-phenyl, a substituted or unsubstituted 1 ,3-phenyl, a substituted or unsubstituted 4,4'-biphenyl, a substituted or unsubstituted 2,5-pyridyl, and a substituted or unsubstituted 2,6-pyridyl.

15. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to claim 14, wherein the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer is selected from one of the following structures:

wherein Z2-Z5 are each independently CR or N, where at least one Z2-Z5 is N; and each R and each R11-R16 are independently selected from the group consisting of hydrogen, water solubilizing group, halogen, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, alkyl and substituted alkyl.

16. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to claim 1 , wherein each co-monomer is substituted with a WSG independently selected from one of the following structures:

wherein:

T5 is an optional linker;

each T6 is an linker;

R11 and R are independently H, alkyi or substituted alkyi; and

each s is an integer from 1 to 50.

17. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to claim 1 , wherein the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomers are independently selected from one of the

a water soluble light harvesting multichromophore comprising a conjugated segment having the structure of formula I):

(I)

wherein:

F1 is a fused tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a water soluble group (WSG); M1 is an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

* denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group;

wherein at least one of F1 and M1 is substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6-50 monomeric units; and

a signaling chromophore covalently linked to the multichromophore in energy- receiving proximity therewith.

19. An aggregation-resistant labelled specific binding member comprising:

a water soluble light harvesting multichromophore comprising a conjugated segment having the structure of formula I):

(I)

wherein:

F1 is a fused tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a water soluble group (WSG); M1 is an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

* denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group;

wherein at least one of F1 and M1 is substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6-50 monomeric units; and a specific binding member covalently linked to the multichromophore.

20. The labelled specific binding member according to claim 19, further comprising a signaling chromophore covalently linked to the multichromophore in energy-receiving proximity therewith.

Description:
WATER-SOLUBLE POLYMERIC DYES

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 1 19 (e), this application claims priority to the filing date of United States Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 62/433,091 , filed December 12, 2016, the disclosure of which application is incorporated herein by reference.

INTRODUCTION

Fluorescent dyes are compounds which, when irradiated with light of a wavelength which they absorb, emit light of a (usually) different wavelength. Fluorescent dyes find use in a variety of applications in biochemistry, biology and medicine, e.g. in diagnostic kits, in microscopy or in drug screening. Fluorescent dyes are characterized by a number of parameters allowing a user to select a suitable dye depending on the desired purpose. Parameters of interest include the excitation wavelength maximum, the emission wavelength maximum, the Stokes shift, the extinction coefficient, the fluorescence quantum yield and the fluorescence lifetime. Dyes may be selected according to the application of interest in order to, e.g., allow penetration of exciting radiation into biological samples, to minimize background fluorescence and/or to achieve a high signal-to-noise ratio.

Molecular recognition involves the specific binding of two molecules. Molecules which have binding specificity for a target biomolecule find use in a variety of research and diagnostic applications, such as the labelling and separation of analytes, flow cytometry, in situ hybridization, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), western blot analysis, magnetic cell separations and chromatography. Target biomolecules may be detected by labelling with a fluorescent dye.

SUMMARY

Water soluble polymeric dyes and polymeric tandem dyes are provided. The polymeric dyes include a water solvated light harvesting multichromophore having a conjugated segment of aryl or heteroaryl co-monomers including branched non-ionic water soluble groups (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers. In some cases, the branched non-ionic water soluble groups (WSG) of the present disclosure are capable of imparting solubility in water in excess of 50 mg/mL to the multichromophore.

The polymeric tandem dyes further includ ignaling chromophore covalently linked to the multichromophore in energy-receiving proximity therewith. Also provided are aggregation-resistant labelled specific binding members that include the subject water soluble polymeric dyes. Methods of evaluating a sample for the presence of a target analyte and methods of labelling a target molecule in which the subject polymeric dyes find use are also provided. Systems and kits for practicing the subject methods are also provided.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

It is understood that the drawings, described below, are for illustration purposes only. The drawings are not intended to limit the scope of the present teachings in any way.

FIG. 1 depicts several exemplary co-monomers of the present disclosure that include exemplary branched non-ionic water soluble groups (WSG).

FIG. 2 depicts the structural formula of exemplary tandem polymeric dyes of the present disclosure that include fluorene co-monomers having exemplary branched non- ionic water soluble groups (WSG).

FIG. 3 depicts the structural formula of exemplary tandem polymeric dyes of the present disclosure that include aryl co-monomers having exemplary branched non-ionic water soluble groups (WSG), where x, y and z represent mol % values of the co- monomers in the polymeric dye.

DEFINITIONS

Before describing exemplary embodiments in greater detail, the following definitions are set forth to illustrate and define the meaning and scope of the terms used in the description.

Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Still, certain terms are defined below for the sake of clarity and ease of reference.

It must be noted that as used herein and in the appended claims, the singular forms "a", "an", and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. For example, the term "a primer" refers to one or more primers, i.e., a single primer and multiple primers. It is further noted that the claims can be drafted to exclude any optional element. As such, this statement is intended to serve as antecedent basis for use of such exclusive terminology as "solely," "only" and the like in connection with the recitation of claim elements, or use of a "negative" limitation.

As used herein, the term "sample" relates to a material or mixture of materials, in some cases in liquid form, containing one or more analytes of interest. In some embodiments, the term as used in its broadest sense, refers to any plant, animal or bacterial material containing cells or producing cellular metabolites, such as, for example, tissue or fluid isolated from an individual (including without limitation plasma, serum, cerebrospinal fluid, lymph, tears, saliva and tissue sections) or from in vitro cell culture constituents, as well as samples from the environment. The term "sample" may also refer to a "biological sample". As used herein, the term "a biological sample" refers to a whole organism or a subset of its tissues, cells or component parts (e.g. body fluids, including, but not limited to, blood, mucus, lymphatic fluid, synovial fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, saliva, amniotic fluid, amniotic cord blood, urine, vaginal fluid and semen). A "biological sample" can also refer to a homogenate, lysate or extract prepared from a whole organism or a subset of its tissues, cells or component parts, or a fraction or portion thereof, including but not limited to, plasma, serum, spinal fluid, lymph fluid, the external sections of the skin, respiratory, intestinal, and genitourinary tracts, tears, saliva, milk, blood cells, tumors and organs. In certain embodiments, the sample has been removed from an animal or plant. Biological samples may include cells. The term "cells" is used in its conventional sense to refer to the basic structural unit of living organisms, both eukaryotic and prokaryotic, having at least a nucleus and a cell membrane. In certain embodiments, cells include prokaryotic cells, such as from bacteria. In other embodiments, cells include eukaryotic cells, such as cells obtained from biological samples from animals, plants or fungi.

As used herein, the terms "support bound" and "linked to a support" are used interchangeably and refer to a moiety (e.g. , a specific binding member) that is linked covalently or non-covalently to a support of interest. Covalent linking may involve the chemical reaction of two compatible functional groups (e.g., two chemoselective functional groups, an electrophile and a nucleophile, etc.) to form a covalent bond between the two moieties of interest (e.g. a support and a specific binding member). In some cases, non-covalent linking may involve specific binding between two moieties of interest (e.g. , two affinity moieties such as a hapten and an antibody or a biotin moiety and a streptavidin, etc.). In certain cases, non-covalent linking may involve absorption to a substrate. As used herein, the term "polypeptide" refers to a polymeric form of amino acids of any length, including peptides that range from 2-50 amino acids in length and polypeptides that are greater than 50 amino acids in length. The terms "polypeptide" and "protein" are used interchangeably herein. The term "polypeptide" includes polymers of coded and non-coded amino acids, chemically or biochemically modified or derivatized amino acids, and polypeptides having modified peptide backbones in which the conventional backbone has been replaced with non-naturally occurring or synthetic backbones. A polypeptide may be of any convenient length, e.g., 2 or more amino acids, such as 4 or more amino acids, 10 or more amino acids, 20 or more amino acids, 50 or more amino acids, 100 or more amino acids, 300 or more amino acids, such as up to 500 or 1000 or more amino acids. "Peptides" may be 2 or more amino acids, such as 4 or more amino acids, 10 or more amino acids, 20 or more amino acids, such as up to 50 amino acids. In some embodiments, peptides are between 5 and 30 amino acids in length.

As used herein the term "isolated," refers to an moiety of interest that is at least

60% free, at least 75% free, at least 90% free, at least 95% free, at least 98% free, and even at least 99% free from other components with which the moiety is associated with prior to purification.

A "plurality" contains at least 2 members. In certain cases, a plurality may have 10 or more, such as 100 or more, 1000 or more, 10,000 or more, 100,000 or more, 10 6 or more, 10 7 or more, 10 8 or more or 10 9 or more members.

Numeric ranges are inclusive of the numbers defining the range.

As used herein, the term "specific binding" refers to the ability of a capture agent (or a first member of a specific binding pair) to preferentially bind to a particular analyte (or a second member of a specific binding pair) that is present, e.g., in a homogeneous mixture of different analytes. In some instances, a specific binding interaction will discriminate between desirable and undesirable analytes in a sample with a specificity of 10-fold or more for a desirable analyte over an undesirable analytes, such as 100-fold or more, or 1000-fold or more. In some cases, the affinity between a capture agent and analyte when they are specifically bound in a capture agent/analyte complex is at least 10 -8 M, at least 10 -9 M, such as up to 10 -10 M.

As used herein, the terms "affinity" and "avidity" have the same meaning and may be used interchangeably herein. "Affinity" refers to the strength of binding, increased binding affinity being correlated with a lower Kd. The methods described herein include multiple steps. Each step may be performed after a predetermined amount of time has elapsed between steps, as desired. As such, the time between performing each step may be 1 second or more, 10 seconds or more, 30 seconds or more, 60 seconds or more, 5 minutes or more, 10 minutes or more, 60 minutes or more and including 5 hours or more. In certain embodiments, each subsequent step is performed immediately after completion of the previous step. In other embodiments, a step may be performed after an incubation or waiting time after completion of the previous step, e.g., a few minutes to an overnight waiting time.

As used herein, the terms "evaluating", "determining," "measuring," and

"assessing," and "assaying" are used interchangeably and include both quantitative and qualitative determinations.

The term "separating", as used herein, refers to physical separation of two elements (e.g., by size or affinity, etc.) as well as degradation of one element, leaving the other intact.

As used herein, the term "linker" or "linkage" refers to a linking moiety that connects two groups and has a backbone of 100 atoms or less in length. A linker or linkage may be a covalent bond that connects two groups or a chain of between 1 and 100 atoms in length, for example a chain of 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 or more carbon atoms in length, where the linker may be linear, branched, cyclic or a single atom. In some cases, the linker is a branching linker that refers to a linking moiety that connects three or more groups. In certain cases, one, two, three, four or five or more carbon atoms of a linker backbone may be optionally substituted with a sulfur, nitrogen or oxygen heteroatom. In some cases, the linker backbone includes a linking functional group, such as an ether, thioether, amino, amide, sulfonamide, carbamate,

thiocarbamate, urea, thiourea, ester, thioester or imine. The bonds between backbone atoms may be saturated or unsaturated, and in some cases not more than one, two, or three unsaturated bonds are present in a linker backbone. The linker may include one or more substituent groups, for example with an alkyl, aryl or alkenyl group. A linker may include, without limitations, polyethylene glycol; ethers, thioethers, tertiary amines, alkyls, which may be straight or branched, e.g., methyl, ethyl, n-propyl, 1-methylethyl (iso-propyl), n-butyl, n-pentyl, 1 , 1-dimethylethyl (t-butyl), and the like. The linker backbone may include a cyclic group, for example, an aryl, a heterocycle or a cycloalkyl group, where 2 or more atoms, e.g., 2, 3 or 4 atoms, of the cyclic group are included in the backbone. A linker may be cleavable or non-cleavable. As used herein, the terms "polyethylene oxide", "PEO", "polyethylene glycol" and "PEG" are used interchangeably and refer to a polymeric group including a chain described by the formula ~(CH2~CH 2 ~0~)n- or a derivative thereof. In some

embodiments, "n" is 5000 or less, such as 1000 or less, 500 or less, 200 or less, 100 or less, 50 or less, 40 or less, 30 or less, 20 or less, 15 or less, such as 3 to 15, or 10 to 15. It is understood that the PEG polymeric group may be of any convenient length and may include a variety of terminal groups and/or further substituent groups, including but not limited to, alkyl, aryl, hydroxyl, amino, acyl, acyloxy, and amido terminal and/or substituent groups. PEG groups that may be adapted for use in the subject

multichromophores include those PEGs described by S. Zalipsky in "Functionalized poly(ethylene glycol) for preparation of biologically relevant conjugates", Bioconjugate Chemistry 1995, 6 (2), 150-165; and by Zhu et al in "Water-Soluble Conjugated

Polymers for Imaging, Diagnosis, and Therapy", Chem. Rev., 2012, 112 (8), pp 4687- 4735 .

As used herein, the term "alkyl" by itself or as part of another substituent refers to a saturated branched or straight-chain monovalent hydrocarbon radical derived by the removal of one hydrogen atom from a single carbon atom of a parent alkane. Alkyl groups of interest include, but are not limited to, methyl; ethyl, propyls such as propan-1-yl or propan-2-yl; and butyls such as butan-1-yl, butan-2-yl,

2-methyl-propan-1-yl or 2-methyl-propan-2-yl. In some embodiments, an alkyl group includes from 1 to 20 carbon atoms. In some embodiments, an alkyl group includes from 1 to 10 carbon atoms. In certain embodiments, an alkyl group includes from 1 to 6 carbon atoms, such as from 1 to 4 carbon atoms. This term includes, by way of example, linear and branched hydrocarbyl groups such as methyl (CH 3 -), ethyl (CH 3 CH 2 -), n- propyl (CH3CH2CH2-), isopropyl ((CH 3 ) 2 CH-), n-butyl (CH3CH2CH2CH2-), isobutyl ((CH 3 ) 2 CHCH 2 -), sec-butyl ((CH 3 )(CH 3 CH 2 )CH-), t-butyl ((CH 3 ) 3 C-), n-pentyl

(CH 3 CH2CH 2 CH 2 CH2-), and neopentyl ((CH 3 ) 3 CCH 2 -).

The term "substituted alkyl" refers to an alkyl group as defined herein wherein one or more carbon atoms in the alkyl chain have been optionally replaced with a heteroatom such as -0-, -N-, -S-, -S(0) n - (where n is 0 to 2), -NR- (where R is hydrogen or alkyl) and having from 1 to 5 substituents selected from the group consisting of alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, cycloalkyl, substituted cycloalkyl, cycloalkenyl, substituted cycloalkenyl, acyl, acylamino, acyloxy, amino, aminoacyl, aminoacyloxy, oxyaminoacyl, azido, cyano, halogen, hydroxyl, oxo, thioketo carboxyl, carboxylalkyl, thioaryloxy, thioheteroaryloxy, thioheterocyclooxy, thiol, thioalkoxy, substituted thioalkoxy, aryl, aryloxy, heteroaryl, heteroaryloxy, heterocyclyl, heterocyclooxy, hydroxyamino, alkoxyamino, nitro, -SO-alkyl, -SO-aryl, -SO-heteroaryl, -S0 2 -alkyl, -S0 2 -aryl, -S0 2 - heteroaryl, and -NR a R b , wherein R and R may be the same or different and are chosen from hydrogen, optionally substituted alkyl, cycloalkyi, alkenyl, cycloalkenyl, alkynyl, aryl, heteroaryl and heterocyclic.

"Alkoxy" refers to the group -O-alkyl, wherein alkyl is as defined herein. Alkoxy includes, by way of example, methoxy, ethoxy, n-propoxy, isopropoxy, n-butoxy, t- butoxy, sec-butoxy, n-pentoxy, and the like. The term "alkoxy" also refers to the groups alkenyl-O-, cycloalkyl-O-, cycloalkenyl-O-, and alkynyl-O-, where alkenyl, cycloalkyi, cycloalkenyl, and alkynyl are as defined herein.

The term "substituted alkoxy" refers to the groups substituted alkyl-O-, substituted alkenyl-O-, substituted cycloalkyl-O-, substituted cycloalkenyl-O-, and substituted alkynyl-O- where substituted alkyl, substituted alkenyl, substituted cycloalkyi, substituted cycloalkenyl and substituted alkynyl are as defined herein.

"Amino" refers to the group -NH 2 .

The term "substituted amino" refers to the group -NRR where each R is independently selected from the group consisting of hydrogen, alkyl, substituted alkyl, cycloalkyi, substituted cycloalkyi, alkenyl, substituted alkenyl, cycloalkenyl, substituted cycloalkenyl, alkynyl, substituted alkynyl, aryl, heteroaryl, and heterocyclyl provided that at least one R is not hydrogen.

"Aryl" by itself or as part of another substituent refers to a monovalent aromatic hydrocarbon radical derived by the removal of one hydrogen atom from a single carbon atom of an aromatic ring system. Aryl groups of interest include, but are not limited to, groups derived from aceanthrylene, acenaphthylene, acephenanthrylene, anthracene, azulene, benzene, chrysene, coronene, fluoranthene, fluorene, hexacene, hexaphene, hexalene, as-indacene, s-indacene, indane, indene, naphthalene, octacene, octaphene, octalene, ovalene, penta-2,4-diene, pentacene, pentalene, pentaphene, perylene, phenalene, phenanthrene, picene, pleiadene, pyrene, pyranthrene, rubicene, triphenylene, trinaphthalene and the like. In certain embodiments, an aryl group includes from 6 to 20 carbon atoms. In certain embodiments, an aryl group includes from 6 to 12 carbon atoms. Examples of an aryl group are phenyl and naphthyl.

"Heteroaryl" by itself or as part of another substituent, refers to a monovalent heteroaromatic radical derived by the removal of one hydrogen atom from a single atom of a heteroaromatic ring system. Heteroaryl groups of interest include, but are not limited to, groups derived from acridine, arsindole, carbazole, β-carboline, chromane, chromene, cinnoline, furan, imidazole, indazole, indole, indoline, indolizine,

isobenzofuran, isochromene, isoindole, isoindoline, isoquinoline, isothiazole, isoxazole, naphthyridine, oxadiazole, oxazole, perimidine, phenanthridine, phenanthroline, phenazine, phthalazine, pteridine, purine, pyran, pyrazine, pyrazole, pyridazine, pyridine, pyrimidine, pyrrole, pyrrolizine, quinazoline, quinoline, quinolizine, quinoxaline, tetrazole, thiadiazole, thiazole, triazole, benzotriazole, thiophene, triazole, xanthene, benzodioxole and the like. In certain embodiments, the heteroaryl group is from 5-20 membered heteroaryl. In certain embodiments, the heteroaryl group is from 5-10 membered heteroaryl. In certain embodiments, heteroaryl groups are those derived from thiophene, pyrrole, benzothiophene, benzofuran, indole, pyridine, quinoline, imidazole, oxazole and pyrazine.

"Heterocycle," "heterocyclic," "heterocycloalkyl," and "heterocyclyl" refer to a saturated or unsaturated group having a single ring or multiple condensed rings, including fused bridged and spiro ring systems, and having from 3 to 20 ring atoms, including 1 to 10 hetero atoms. These ring atoms are selected from the group consisting of nitrogen, sulfur, or oxygen, wherein, in fused ring systems, one or more of the rings can be cycloalkyl, aryl, or heteroaryl, provided that the point of attachment is through the non-aromatic ring. In certain embodiments, the nitrogen and/or sulfur atom(s) of the heterocyclic group are optionally oxidized to provide for the N-oxide, -S(O)-, or -S0 2 - moieties.

Examples of heterocycles and heteroaryls include, but are not limited to, azetidine, pyrrole, imidazole, pyrazole, pyridine, pyrazine, pyrimidine, pyridazine, indolizine, isoindole, indole, dihydroindole, indazole, purine, quinolizine, isoquinoline, quinoline, phthalazine, naphthylpyridine, quinoxaline, quinazoline, cinnoline, pteridine, carbazole, carboline, phenanthridine, acridine, phenanthroline, isothiazole, phenazine, isoxazole, phenoxazine, phenothiazine, imidazolidine, imidazoline, piperidine, piperazine, indoline, phthalimide, 1 ,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline, 4,5,6,7- tetrahydrobenzo[b]thiophene, thiazole, thiazolidine, thiophene, benzo[b]thiophene, morpholinyl, thiomorpholinyl (also referred to as thiamorpholinyl), 1 , 1- dioxothiomorpholinyl, piperidinyl, pyrrolidine, tetrahydrofuranyl, and the like.

Unless otherwise constrained by the definition for the heterocyclic substituent, such heterocyclic groups can be optionally substituted with 1 to 5, or from 1 to 3 substituents, selected from alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, cycloalkyi, substituted cycloalkyi, cycloalkenyl, substituted cycloalkenyl, acyl, acylamino, acyloxy, amino, substituted amino, aminoacyl, aminoacyloxy, oxyaminoacyl, azido, cyano, halogen, hydroxyl, oxo, thioketo, carboxyl, carboxylalkyi, thioaryloxy, thioheteroaryloxy, thioheterocyclooxy, thiol, thioalkoxy, substituted thioalkoxy, aryl, aryloxy, heteroaryl, heteroaryloxy, heterocyclyl, heterocyclooxy, hydroxyamino, alkoxyamino, nitro, -SO-alkyl, -SO-substituted alkyl, -SO- aryl, -SO-heteroaryl, -S0 2 -alkyl, -S0 2 -substituted alkyl, -S0 2 -aryl, -S0 2 -heteroaryl, and fused heterocycle.

The term "alkaryl" or "aralkyl" refers to the groups -alkylene-aryl and substituted alkylene-aryl where alkylene, substituted alkylene and aryl are defined herein.

"Alkylene" refers to divalent aliphatic hydrocarbyl groups preferably having from 1 to 6 and more preferably 1 to 3 carbon atoms that are either straight-chained or branched, and which are optionally interrupted with one or more groups selected from - 0-, -NR 10 -, -NR 10 C(O)-, -C(0)NR 10 - and the like. This term includes, by way of example, methylene (-CH 2 -), ethylene (-CH 2 CH 2 -), n-propylene (-CH 2 CH 2 CH 2 -), iso-propylene (-CH 2 CH(CH 3 )-), (-C(CH 3 ) 2 CH 2 CH 2 -), (-C(CH 3 ) 2 CH 2 C(0)-), (-C(CH 3 ) 2 CH 2 C(0)NH-), (-CH(CH 3 )CH 2 -), and the like. "Substituted alkylene" refers to an alkylene group having from 1 to 3 hydrogens replaced with substituents as described for carbons in the definition of "substituted" below.

"Substituted" refers to a group in which one or more hydrogen atoms are independently replaced with the same or different substituent(s). Substituents of interest include, but are not limited to, alkylenedioxy (such as methylenedioxy), -M, -R 60 , -O-, =0, -OR 60 , -SR 60 , -S-, =S, -NR 60 R 61 , =NR 60 , -CF 3 , -CN, -OCN, -SCN, -NO, -N0 2 ,

=N 2 , -N 3 , -S(0) 2 0-, -S(0) 2 OH, -S(0) 2 R 60 , -OS(0) 2 0-, -OS(0) 2 R 60 , -P(0)(0-) 2 , -P(0)(OR 60 ) (O-), -OP(O)(OR 60 )(OR 61 ), -C(0)R 60 , -C(S)R 60 , -C(0)OR 60 , -C(O)NR 60 R 61 ,-C(O)O-, -C(S) OR 60 , -NR 62 C(O)NR 60 R 61 , -NR 62 C(S)NR 60 R 61 , -NR 62 C(NR 63 )NR 60 R 61

and -C(NR 62 )NR 60 R 61 where M is halogen; R 60 , R 61 , R 62 and R 63 are independently hydrogen, alkyl, substituted alkyl, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, cycloalkyi, substituted cycloalkyi, cycloheteroalkyi, substituted cycloheteroalkyi, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl or substituted heteroaryl, or optionally R 60 and R 61 together with the nitrogen atom to which they are bonded form a cycloheteroalkyi or substituted cycloheteroalkyi ring; and R 64 and R 65 are independently hydrogen, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, cycloalkyi, substituted cycloalkyi, cycloheteroalkyi, substituted cycloheteroalkyi, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl or substituted heteroaryl, or optionally R 64 and R 65 together with the nitrogen atom to which they are bonded form a cycloheteroalkyl or substituted cycloheteroalkyl ring. In certain embodiments, substituents include -M, -R 60 ,

=0, -OR 60 , -SR 60 , -S-, =S, -NR 60 R 61 , =NR 60 , -CF 3 , -CN, -OCN, -SCN, -NO, -N0 2 ,

=N 2 , -N 3 , -S(0) 2 R 60 , -OS(0) 2 0-, -OS(0) 2 R 60 , -P(0)(0-) 2 , -P(O)(OR 60 )(O-), -OP(O)(OR 60 )( OR 61 ), -C(0)R 60 , -C(S)R 60 , -C(0)OR 60 , -C(O)NR 60 R 61 ,-C(O)O-, -NR 62 C(O)NR 60 R 61 . In certain embodiments, substituents include -M, -R 60 ,

=0, -OR 60 , -SR 60 , -NR 60 R 61 , -CF 3 , -CN, -N0 2 , -S(0) 2 R 60 , -P(O)(OR 60 )(O-), -OP(O)(OR 60 )( OR 61 ), -C(0)R 60 , -C(0)OR 60 , -C(O)NR 60 R 61 ,-C(O)O-. In certain embodiments, substituents include -M, -R 60 ,

=0, -OR 60 , -SR 60 , -NR 60 R 61 , -CF 3 , -CN, -N0 2 , -S(0) 2 R 60 , -OP(O)(OR 60 )(OR 61 ), -C(0)R 60 , - C(0)OR 60 ,-C(0)0-, where R 60 , R 61 and R 62 are as defined above. For example, a substituted group may bear a methylenedioxy substituent or one, two, or three substituents selected from a halogen atom, a (1-4C)alkyl group and a (1-4C)alkoxy group. When the group being substituted is an aryl or heteroaryl group, the

substituent(s) (e.g., as described herein) may be referred to as "aryl substituent(s)".

Other definitions of terms may appear throughout the specification.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As summarized above, water soluble polymeric dyes and polymeric tandem dyes are provided. The polymeric dyes include a water solvated light harvesting

multichromophore having a conjugated segment of aryl or heteroaryl co-monomers including branched non-ionic water soluble groups (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers. In some cases, the branched non-ionic water soluble groups (WSG) of the present disclosure are capable of imparting solubility in water in excess of 50 mg/mL to the multichromophore. The polymeric tandem dyes further include a signaling chromophore covalently linked to the multichromophore in energy-receiving proximity therewith. Also provided are aggregation-resistant labelled specific binding members that include the subject water soluble polymeric dyes. Methods of evaluating a sample for the presence of a target analyte and methods of labelling a target molecule in which the subject polymeric dyes find use are also provided. Systems and kits for practicing the subject methods are also provided.

Before the various embodiments are described in greater detail, it is to be understood that the teachings of this disclosure are not limited to the particular embodiments described, and as such can, of course, vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only, and is not intended to be limiting, since the scope of the present teachings will be limited only by the appended claims.

The section headings used herein are for organizational purposes only and are not to be construed as limiting the subject matter described in any way. While the present teachings are described in conjunction with various embodiments, it is not intended that the present teachings be limited to such embodiments. On the contrary, the present teachings encompass various alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as will be appreciated by those of skill in the art.

Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this disclosure belongs. Although any methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can also be used in the practice or testing of the present teachings, some exemplary methods and materials are now described.

The citation of any publication is for its disclosure prior to the filing date and should not be construed as an admission that the present claims are not entitled to antedate such publication by virtue of prior invention. Further, the dates of publication provided can be different from the actual publication dates which can be independently confirmed.

As will be apparent to those of skill in the art upon reading this disclosure, each of the individual embodiments described and illustrated herein has discrete components and features which can be readily separated from or combined with the features of any of the other several embodiments without departing from the scope or spirit of the present teachings. Any recited method can be carried out in the order of events recited or in any other order which is logically possible.

All patents and publications, including all sequences disclosed within such patents and publications, referred to herein are expressly incorporated by reference. In further describing the subject invention, water soluble polymeric dyes including light harvesting multichromophores and related polymeric tandem dyes further including a signaling chromophore are described first in greater detail. Next, labelled specific binding members which include the subject polymeric dyes are described. Then, methods of interest in which the subject polymeric dyes find use are reviewed. Systems and kits that may be used in practicing methods of the present disclosure are also described.

POLYMERIC DYES

As summarized above, the present disclosure provides water soluble polymeric dyes. The subject water soluble polymeric dyes include a light harvesting

multichromophore having a conjugated segment of aryl and/or heteroaryl co-monomers including branched non-ionic water soluble groups (WSG). A branched non-ionic water soluble groups can be attached to a co-monomer at any convenient location to provide a sidechain group that projects away from the backbone of the conjugated polymer to provide high solvation in an aqueous environment. In some cases, the branched non- ionic water soluble groups (WSG) comprise two or more water soluble polymers each having 6-100, such as 6-50, 6-40 or 6-30 monomeric units. As used herein, the terms "water solubilizing group" , "water soluble group" and WSG are used interchangeably and refer to a group or substituent that is well solvated in aqueous environments e.g., under physiological conditions, and that imparts improved water solubility upon the molecules to which it is attached. In some embodiments, a WSG increases the solubility of the multichromophore in a predominantly aqueous solution, as compared to a control multichromophore which lacks the WSG. The water solubilizing groups may be any convenient hydrophilic group that is well solvated in aqueous environments.

A water soluble polymeric dye of the present disclosure has solubility under aqueous conditions that makes it especially suitable for application to a variety of biological assays. The subject water soluble polymers, and conjugates thereof, can be resistant to undesirable aggregation which provides advantageous fluorescence and spectroscopic properties in various biological assays. Aggregation of dyes is undesirable because it can lead to reduced fluorescent signals, e.g., via aggregation-caused quenching of dye fluorescence. The subject water-soluble conjugated polymer dyes can be used as fluorescent reporters for a variety of biosensors and provide signals of exceptional brightness with a range of options for excitation and emission wavelength for applications such as Flow Cytometry, and imaging.

In certain instances, a water soluble polymeric dye has a solubility in water or buffer of 1 mg/ml_ or more, such as 3mg/ml_ or more, 10mg/ml_ or more, 20mg/ml_ or more, 30mg/ml_ or more, 40mg/ml_ or more, 50mg/ml_ or more, 60mg/ml_ or more, 70mg/ml_ or more, 80mg/ml_ or more, 90mg/ml_ or more, 100mg/ml_ or more, or even more. It is understood that water soluble polymeric dyes may, under certain conditions, form discrete water solvated nanoparticles in aqueous systems. In certain cases, the water solvated nanoparticles are resistant to aggregation and find use in a variety of biological assays.

As used herein, the terms "light harvesting multichromophore", "polymeric dye" and "conjugated polymer" are used interchangeably and refer to a conjugated polymer which has a structure capable of harvesting light with a particular absorption maximum wavelength and converting it to emitted light at a longer emission maximum wavelength. In some cases, the light harvesting multichromophore is itself fluorescent. Conjugated polymers (CPs) are characterized by a delocalized electronic structure and may have an effective conjugation length that is substantially shorter than the length of the polymer chain, because the backbone may contain a large number of conjugated segments in close proximity. In some cases, conjugated polymers are efficient for light harvesting and provide for optical amplification via Forster energy transfer to an acceptor.

As used herein the term "unit" refers to a structural subunit of a polymer. The term unit is meant to include monomers, co-monomers, co-blocks, conjugated segments, repeating units, and the like. A "repeating unit" is a subunit of a polymer that is defined by the minimum number of distinct structural features that are required for the unit to be considered monomeric, such that when the unit is repeated n times, the resulting structure describes the polymer or a block thereof. In some cases, the polymer may include two or more different repeating units, e.g. , when the polymer is a multiblock polymer or a random arrangement of units, each block may define a distinct repeating unit, e.g. , an n-block and a m-block. It is understood that a variety of arrangements of n and/or m repeating units or blocks are possible and that in the depicted formula of the subject multichromophores described herein any convenient linear arrangements of n and m co-blocks of various lengths are included within the structure of the overall polymer. It is understood that the polymer may also be represented by a formula in terms of mol% values of each unit in the polymer and that such formula may represent a variety of arrangements of repeat unit, such as random or multiblock polymer. In some cases, a repeating unit of the polymer includes a single monomer group. In certain instances, a repeating unit of the polymer includes two or more monomer groups, i.e. , co-monomer groups, such as two, three, four or more co-monomer groups. As used herein, the term "co-monomer" or "co-monomer group" refers to a structural unit of a polymer that may itself be part of a repeating unit of the polymer. In some embodiments, the conjugated polymer includes a block copolymer that is composed of blocks of polymerized monomers. In such cases, the block copolymer may be described as having distinct repeating units each corresponding to a distinct co-block of the polymer. In some cases, the polymer is a diblock copolymer that contains two different co-blocks. In such cases, the polymer may be described as including co-blocks, where each co-block may be composed of co-monomers, such as one, two, three or more co-monomers.

The multichromophore may have any convenient length. In some cases, the particular number of monomeric repeating units or segments of the multichromophore may fall within the range of 2 to 500,000, such as 2 to 100,000, 2 to 30,000, 2 to 10,000, 2 to 3,000 or 2 to 1 ,000 units or segments, or such as 5 to 100,000, 10 to 100,000, 100 to 100,000, 200 to 100,000, or 500 to 50,000 units or segments. In some instances, the particular number of monomeric repeating units or segments of the multichromophore may fall within the range of 2 to 1 ,000, such as 2 to 500, 2 to 100, 3 to 100, 4 to 100, 5 to 100, 6 to 100, 7 to 100, 8 to 100, 9 to 100 or 10 to 100 units or segments.

The multichromophore may be of any convenient molecular weight (MW). In some cases, the MW of the multichromophore may be expressed as an average molecular weight. In some instances, the polymeric dye has an average molecular weight in the range of 500 to 500,000, such as from 1 ,000 to 100,000, from 2,000 to 100,000, from 10,000 to 100,000 or even an average molecular weight in the range of 50,000 to 100,000.

In some embodiments, the multichromophore includes a particular aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer that constitutes 5% or more by molarity (e.g., 5 mol%) of the multichromophore, such as 10% or more, 15% or more, 20% or more, 25% or more, 30% or more, 40% or more, 45% or more, 50% or more, 60% or more, 70% or more, or even more by molarity of the multichromophore. In such cases, the multichromophore may include 5 or more repeating units, such as 10 or more, 20 or more, 30 or more, 40 or more, 50 or more, 60 or more, 70 or more, 80 or more, 90 or more, 100 or more, 200 or more, 500 or more, 1000 or more, 10,000 or more, or even more repeating units. In such cases, the multichromophore may include 5 or more co-monomer units, such as 10 or more, 20 or more, 30 or more, 40 or more, 50 or more, 60 or more, 70 or more, 80 or more, 90 or more, 100 or more, 200 or more, 500 or more, 1000 or more, 10,000 or more, or even more co-monomer units. In certain embodiments, the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer of interest constitutes 25% or more by molarity of the multichromophore, such as 30% or more, 40% or more, 45% or more, 50% or more, or even more by molarity of the multichromophore, which includes 5 or more repeating units, such as 10 or more, 20 or more, 30 or more, 40 or more, 50 or more, 60 or more, 70 or more, 80 or more, 90 or more, 100 or more repeating units.

In some embodiments, the multichromophore includes a plurality of first optically active units forming a conjugated system, having an absorption wavelength (e.g., as described herein) at which the first optically active units absorb light to form an excited state. In certain instances, the multichromophore includes a conjugated polymer segment or an oligomeric structure including bandgap-lowering n-conjugated repeating units.

The subject multichromophore may have one or more desirable spectroscopic properties, such as a particular absorption maximum wavelength, a particular emission maximum wavelength, extinction coefficient, quantum yield, and the like. The subject polymeric dyes and polymeric tandem dyes provide for a variety of absorption and emission profiles which depend on a variety of factors such as the selected co- monomers, linking groups, substituents and optional linked signaling chromophores of which the polymers are composed. In some cases, the polymeric dye absorption maximum wavelength in the range of 300 to 600nm, such as 350nm to 560nm or 400nm to 560nm. In certain embodiments, the multichromophore has an absorption maximum wavelength of 600 nm or less, such as 575 nm or less, 550 nm or less, 525 nm or less, 500 nm or less, 475 nm or less, 450 nm or less, 440 nm or less, 430 nm or less, 420 nm or less, 410 nm or less, 400 nm or less, or even less. In certain embodiments, the multichromophore absorbs only UV light. In certain instances, the multichromophore has an absorption maximum wavelength in the range of 300nm to 400 nm. In certain instances, the multichromophore has an absorption maximum wavelength in the range of 300nm to 350 nm. In certain instances, the multichromophore has an absorption maximum wavelength in the range of 350nm to 400 nm.ln certain instances, the multichromophore has an absorption maximum wavelength in the range of 400nm to 600 nm, such as 400nm to 560nm. In certain instances, the multichromophore has an absorption maximum wavelength in the range of 400nm to 450 nm. In certain instances, the multichromophore has an absorption maximum wavelength in the range of 450nm to 500 nm. In certain instances, the multichromophore has an absorption maximum wavelength in the range of 500nm to 550 nm. In certain instances, the multichromophore has an absorption maximum wavelength in the range of 550nm to 600 nm. In some embodiments, the multichromophore has an emission maximum wavelength in the range of 300 to 900 nm, such as 350 to 850 nm, 350 to 600 nm, 360 to 500 nm, 370 to 500 nm, 380 to 500 nm, 390 to 500 nm or 400 to 500 nm, where specific examples of emission maxima of interest include, but are not limited to: 395 nm ± 5nm, 460nm ± 5nm, 490nm ± 5nm, 550nm ± 5nm, 560nm ± 5nm, 605nm ± 5nm, 650nm ± 5nm, 680nm ± 5nm, 700nm ± 5nm, 805nm ± 5nm. In certain instances, the multichromophore has an emission maximum wavelength selected from the group consisting of 395 nm, 460nm, 490nm, 550nm, 560nm, 605nm, 650nm, 680nm, 700nm and 805nm. In certain instances, the multichromophore has an emission maximum wavelength of 395 nm ± 5nm. In some instances, the multichromophore itself has an emission maximum wavelength in the range of 375 to 900 nm (such as in the range of 380nm to 900nm, 390nm to 900 nm, or 400nm to 900nm).

In some instances, the multichromophore has an extinction coefficient of 5 x 10 5 cm -1 M -1 or more, such as 6 x 10 5 cm -1 M -1 or more, 7 x 10 5 cm -1 M -1 or more, 8 x 10 5 cm- 1 M -1 or more, 9 x 10 5 cm -1 M -1 or more, such as 1 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more, 1.5 x 10 6 cm -1 M- 1 or more, 2 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more, 2.5 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more, 3 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more, 4 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more, 5 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more, 6 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more, 7 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more, or 8 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more. In such cases, the multichromophore may have 5 or more repeating units, such as 6 or more, 7 or more, 8 or more, 9 or more, 10 or more, or even more repeating units. In some embodiments, the multichromophore has a molar extinction coefficient of 5 x 10 5 M -1 cm -1 or more. In certain embodiments, the

multichromophore has a molar extinction coefficient of 1 x 10 6 M -1 cm -1 or more.

In some instances, the multichromophore has an extinction coefficient of 40,000 cm -1 M -1 per repeating unit or more, such as 45,000 cm -1 M -1 per repeating unit or more, 50,000 cm -1 M -1 per repeating unit or more, 55,000 cm -1 M -1 per repeating unit or more, 60,000 cm -1 M -1 per repeating unit or more, 70,000 cm -1 M -1 per repeating unit or more, 80,000 cm -1 M -1 per repeating unit or more, 90,000 cm -1 M -1 per repeating unit or more, 100,000 cm -1 M -1 per repeating unit or more, or even more. In some instances, the 40,000 cm -1 M -1 per repeating unit or more described herein is an average extinction coefficient. In certain instances, the repeat unit of the multichromophore may include a single monomer, two co-monomers, or three or more co-monomers. In some instances, the multichromophore has an extinction coefficient of 40,000 cm -1 M -1 per co-monomer or more, such as 45,000 cm -1 M -1 per co-monomer or more, 50,000 cm -1 M -1 per co- monomer or more, 55,000 cm -1 M -1 per co monomer or more, 60,000 cm -1 M -1 per co- monomer or more, 70,000 cm -1 M -1 per co-monomer or more, 80,000 cm -1 M -1 per co- monomer or more, 90,000 cm -1 M -1 per co-monomer or more, 100,000 cm -1 M -1 per co- monomer or more, or even more. In some instances, the 40,000 cm -1 M -1 per co- monomer or more is an average extinction coefficient.

It is understood that in some cases the subject multichromophores may include co-blocks (e.g., n and m co-blocks) or a random arrangement of n and m repeating units. The subject multichromophores may include any convenient linear arrangements of n and m co-blocks of various lengths within the structure of the overall polymer. In some cases, the linear arrangements of co-monomers depicted in the structures herein are random. In addition, the multichromophores may include any convenient arrangements of co-monomers within such n and/or m co-blocks. Unless indicated to the contrary, all possible arrangements of co-monomers are meant to be included in the polymeric dyes described herein. A variety of polymer synthesis methods may be utilized to prepare co- monomers and co-blocks of interest in the preparation of the subject multichromophores. It is understood that in some cases, the polymerization methods may produce a composition including a population of conjugated polymers that includes some variation with respect to the particular length and/or terminal groups (i.e., end groups) present in each conjugated polymer of the population. The formulae depicted herein may refer to a single compound or to a population or sub-population of polymeric compounds. As used herein, * denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer. It is understood that the formulae depicted herein of the subject polymers is one representation of the structure and that other representations, such as a representation indicating mol% ratios of particular co-monomers in the conjugated polymer segment may also be used.

In some instances, the multichromophore includes a conjugated segment having the structure of formula (I):

wherein:

F 1 is a fused tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a water soluble group (WSG) , as described herein);

M 1 is an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer; n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

* denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group;

wherein at least one of F 1 and M 1 is substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6 or more monomeric units. In some cases, the branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) is capable of imparting to the multichromophore solubility in water of 10mg/ml_ or more (e.g. in excess of 10 mg/mL, in excess of 20 mg/mL, in excess of 30 mg/mL, in excess of 40 mg/mL, or in excess of 50 mg/mL) to the multichromophore. In some embodiments of formula (I), M 1 is substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6 or more monomeric units and F 1 is substituted with one or more (e.g., two) linear non-ionic water soluble groups (WSG) comprising a linear water soluble polymer having 6 or more monomeric units. In certain embodiments of formula (I), F 1 is a fused tricyclic co- monomer.

In some instances of formula (I), the multichromophore includes a conjugated segment having the structure of formula I):

(I)

wherein:

F 1 is a fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6 or more monomeric units;

M 1 is an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

* denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group;

wherein the branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) is capable of imparting solubility in water of 10mg/mL or more (e.g. in excess of 10 mg/mL) to the multichromophore.

In some instances of formula (I), the two or more water soluble polymers have 7 or more monomeric units, such as 8 or more 9 or more, 10 or more, 11 or more, 12 or more, 13 or more, 14 or more, 15 or more, or even more monomeric units, and in some cases, have up to 100 units, such as up to 50 monomeric units, up to 40, or up to 30 monomeric units. In some instances of formula (I), the two or more water soluble polymers each independently have 6-100 monomeric units, such as 6-50, 6-40, 6-30, 10-30, 10-20 units, 12-20 or 12-16 monomeric units. In some cases of formula (I), F 1 is a substituted fluorene co-monomer.

In certain cases, the branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) is capable of imparting solubility in water (e.g., an aqueous buffer) of 20 mg/mL or more to the multichromophore, such as 30 mg/mL or more, 40 mg/mL or more, 50 mg/mL or more, 60 mg/mL or more, 70 mg/mL or more, 80 mg/mL or more, 90 mg/mL or more, 100 mg/mL or more, or even more. In certain cases, the branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) is capable of imparting solubility in water (e.g., an aqueous buffer) in excess of 20 mg/mL to the multichromophore, such as in excess of 30 mg/mL, in excess of 40 mg/mL, in excess of 50 mg/mL, in excess of 60 mg/mL, in excess of 70 mg/mL, in excess of 80 mg/mL, in excess of 90 mg/mL or in excess of 100 mg/mL.

Aryl or heteroaryl co-monomers of interest include but are not limited to, fused tricyclic co-monomers, such as fluorene co-monomers, carbazole co-monomers, silole co-monomers or bridged biphenyl co-monomers. A fused tricyclic co-monomer is a co- monomer including a tricyclic aromatic group having three fused rings in a configuration where two aryl or heteroaryl 6-membered rings are fused to a central 5 or 6-membered carbocyclic or heterocyclic ring. In some cases, the fused tricyclic co-monomer includes two benzo or pyrido rings fused to a central 5 or 6 membered carbocyclic or heterocyclic ring. The fused tricyclic co-monomer can be pi-conjugated to adjacent co-monomers of a polymer backbone via any convenient ring atoms of the fused rings. The central 5- or 6- membered ring may be a carbocycle or a heterocycle, aromatic or partially saturated, and may further include a sidechain substituent, e.g., a WSG and/or a linker to a chemoselective tag. A bridged biphenyl co-monomer is a fused tricyclic co-monomer having a biphenyl group where the two phenyl rings are further linked with each other via a central 6 membered ring. In certain instances, the fused tricyclic co-monomer is described by the following structu where:

Y is C(R 3 ) 2 , -C(R 3 ) 2 C(R 3 ) 2 -, -C(R 3 ) 2 Si(R 3 ) 2 -, NR 3 , Si(R 3 ) 2 or Se;

each Z is independently CH, CR or N;

each R 3 is independently selected from H, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, amido, substituted amido, an aralkyi, a substituted aralkyi, a PEG moiety, -L 11 -Z 1 , where L 11 is a linker and Z 1 is a chemoselective tag (e.g., a tag including a chemoselective functional group) and a WSG; and

each R is independently H or one or more aryl or heteroaryl substituents and wherein any two convenient R groups are optionally cyclically linked. In some cases, each R refers to one or two ring substituents independently selected from halogen, sulfonate, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, alkyl and substituted alkyl and wherein any two convenient R groups are optionally cyclically linked. In certain instances, at least two of Z in each ring is CH or CR. In certain instances, one and only one of Z in each ring is N.

In certain instances, the fused tricyclic co-monomer is described by one of the following

where:

Y is C(R 3 ) 2 , -C(R 3 ) 2 C(R 3 ) 2 -, -C(R 3 ) 2 Si(R 3 ) 2 -, NR 3 , Si(R 3 ) 2 or Se;

each R 3 is independently selected from H, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, amido, substituted amido, an aralkyi, a substituted aralkyi, a PEG moiety, -L 11 -Z 1 , where L 11 is a linker and Z 1 is a chemoselective tag (e.g., a tag including a chemoselective functional group) and a WSG; and

each R is independently H, R 3 or one or more aryl or heteroaryl substituents and wherein any two convenient R groups are optionally cyclically linked. In some cases, each R refers to one or two ring substituents independently selected from halogen, sulfonate, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, alkyl and substituted alkyl and wherein any two convenient R groups are optionally cyclically linked. The symbol " * " denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer, e.g., a π conjugated segment, a terminal group, a linker and a linked specific binding member. It is understood that for any of the formulae described herein which includes a 2,7-pi- conjugated fused tricyclic co-monomer, an analogous formula including an analogous 3,6-pi-conjugated co-monomer could also be depicted. In certain cases, the fused tricyclic co-monomer is a fluorene co-monomer where Y is C(R 3 ) 2 . In some cases, the fused tricyclic co-monomer is a carbazole co-monomer where Y is NR 3 . In some cases, the fused tricyclic co-monomer is a silole co-monomer where Y is Si(R 3 ) 2 . In some cases, the fused tricyclic co-monomer is a bridged biphenyl co-monomer where Y is - C(R 3 ) 2 C(R 3 ) 2 -. In some cases, the fused tricyclic co-monomer is a bridged biphenyl co- monomer where Y is -CHR 3 CHR 3 -. In certain instances of any of the fused tricyclic co- monomers described herein, each R is independently selected from H, halogen, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, alkyl and substituted alkyl. In certain cases, each R is independently selected from H, fluoro, chloro, methoxy, substituted alkoxy, alkyl and substituted alkyl.

In certain embodiments of the fused tricyclic co-monomer, the co-monomer includes two R substituent groups that are cyclically linked to provide a carbocyclic or heterocyclic ring A that is optionally further substituted:

wherein Y is C(R 3 ) 2 , -C(R 3 ) 2 C(R 3 ) 2 -, -C(R 3 ) 2 Si(R 3 ) 2 -, NR 3 , Si(R 3 ) 2 or Se; and each R 3 is independently selected from H, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, amido, substituted amido, an aralkyl, a substituted aralkyl, a PEG moiety, -L 11 -Z 1 , where L 11 is a linker and Z 1 is a chemoselective tag (e.g., a tag including a chemoselective functional group) and a WSG. In certain ca o-monomer has the structure:

wherein each R -R is independently selected from H, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, amido, substituted amido, an aralkyi, a substituted aralkyi, a PEG moiety, -L 11 -Z 1 , where L 11 is a linker and Z 1 is a chemoselective tag (e.g., a tag including a chemoselective functional group) and a WSG. In some cases of the co-monomer, Y is C(R 3 ) 2 .

In certain instances, the fused tricyclic co-monomer is described by one of the

wherein:

each R 3 is independently selected from H, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, amido, substituted amido, an aralkyi, a substituted aralkyi, a PEG moiety, -L 11 -Z 1 , where L 11 is a linker and Z 1 is a chemoselective tag (e.g., a tag including a chemoselective functional group) and a WSG (e.g., as described herein); and each R is independently H, R 3 or one or more aryl or heteroaryl substituents. In some cases, each R refers to one or two ring substituents independently selected from halogen, sulfonate, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, alkyl and substituted alkyl. In some cases, each R is fluoro or methoxy. In some cases, at least one R 3 is a WSG. In some cases, at least one R 3 is -L 11 -Z 1 .

In certain instances, the fused tricyclic co-monomer is described by the structure:

wherein each WSG is a branched or linear water soluble group, and each R 3 is H, alkyl, substituted alkyl. In certain cases, each WSG is a linear WSG (e.g., as described herein). In certain instances, the fused tricyclic co-monomer is described by the structure:

wherein T 5 is an optional linker; each s is independently an integer from 6 to 100 (e.g., 6 to 50); and each R and R 11 is independently hydrogen, an alkyl or a substituted alkyl.

A fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co-monomer is a co-monomer including a tricyclic aromatic group having three fused rings in the configuration 6-5-6, i.e. two benzo ring fused to a central 5 membered ring. The 5-membered ring may be a carbocycle or a heterocycle and may further include a sidechain substituent at the ring atom that is not fused to a benzo ring. In certain instances, the fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co-monomer is described by the following structure:

where: Z is -C(R 1 ) 2 - Si(R 1 ) 2 - or -N(R 1 )-; each R is independently H or one or more aryl substituents; and each R 1 is independently selected from branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG), an alkyl, a substituted alkyl, an aralkyl, a substituted aralkyl, a PEG moiety and -L 11 -Z 1 , where L 11 is a linker and Z 1 is a chemoselective tag (e.g., a tag including a chemoselective functional group) or a WSG. As used in any of the formulae described herein, * denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group. In some embodiments, when Z is - N(R 1 )-, the fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co-monomer is a carbazole co-monomer. Any convenient carbazole co-monomers may be utilized in the subject multichromophores. In some embodiments, when Z is -C(R 1 ) 2 - the fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co-monomer is a fluorene co-monomer. Any convenient fluorene co-monomers may be utilized in the subject multichromophores. In certain instances of the fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co-monomer, each R 1 is selected from a benzyl group substituted with one, two or more PEG moieties or an alkyl group substituted with two or more PEG moieties. In some embodiments, Z is -Si(R 1 ) 2 - It is understood that for any of the fluorene co-monomers described herein, also included in the present disclosure is the corresponding co-monomer where the C atom of Z is replaced with Si.

A fluorene co-monomer is a co-monomer including an aromatic group having a 9H-fluorene core structure substituted at the 9 position with any convenient sidechain substituent(s). In some cases, the fluorene co-monomer is a 9,9-disubstituted fluorene. The fluorene co-monomer is conjugated to adjacent polymeric backbone groups via any convenient positions of the fluorene core structure, such as any two positions of positions 1-8 (see numbering scheme below). In some embodiments, the fluorene core structure is linked to adjacent groups of the polymer backbone via the 2 and 7 positions. In certain embodiments, the fluorene co-monomer is described by the following structure:

where: each R 1 is independently selected from a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) an alkyi, a substituted alkyi, an aralkyi, a substituted aralkyi, a PEG moiety and -L 11 -Z 1 , where L 11 is a linker and Z 1 is a chemoselective tag (e.g., a tag including a chemoselective functional group) or a WSG. In certain instances of the fluorene co-monomer, each R 1 is a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG). In certain instances of the fluorene co-monomer, each R 1 is selected from a benzyl group substituted with one, two or more PEG moieties or an alkyi group substituted with two or more PEG moieties. The Z 1 functional group may find use in covalently linking the multichromophore to an acceptor chromophore (e.g., as described herein). In certain instances, Z 1 includes an amino group for covalently linking to the acceptor

chromophore. In certain instances, Z 1 includes an carboxylic acid group, or derivative thereof, for covalently linking to the acceptor chromophore. In certain embodiments, L 11 is a branched linker that links to two or more Z 1 groups (e.g., WSGs). In certain instances, the fluorene co-monomer is further substituted with a R 5 and/or R 6 substituent located at one, two or more positions selected from positions 1 , 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8, where R 5 and R 6 are independently selected from a water solubilizing group (WSG) and an aryl substituent (e.g., as described herein).

In certain instances, the fluorene co-monomer is described by the structure:

where: each R 1 is as defined above; and R 5 and R 6 are independently selected from H, a water solubilizing group, or an aryl substituent (e.g., as described herein).

In some instances, the fluorene co-monomer is described by the structure:

where each R 2 is a alkyi substituted with a water solubilizing group or a branched linker connected to two or more water solubilizing groups (e.g., a PEG-disubstituted benzyl or a PEG substituted alkyi). In certain instances of the fluorene co-monomer, each R 2 is a benzyl group substituted with one, two or three PEG moieties (e.g., -0(CH 2 CH 2 0) n R' where R' is H or an alkyl and n is 1-20, e.g., 3-16 such as n is 8-16). In certain instances of the fluorene co-monomer, each R 2 is a benzyl group substituted with one - 0(CH 2 CH 2 0) n R' group (e.g., at the 2, 3 or 4 position), where R' is H or an alkyl and n is 1-20, e.g., 3-16 such as n is 8-16. In certain instances of the fluorene co-monomer, each R 2 is a benzyl group substituted with two -0(CH 2 CH 2 0)nR' groups (e.g., at the 2,4-, 3,4- or 3,5-positions), where each R' is independently H or an alkyl and each n is

independently 1-20, e.g., 3-16 such as n is 8-16. In certain instances of the fluorene co- monomer, each R 2 is a benzyl group substituted with three -0(CH 2 CH 2 0) n R' groups (e.g., at the 2,4,6- , 2,4,5- or 3,4,5-positions), where each R' is independently H or an alkyl and each n is independently 1-20, e.g., 3-16 such as n is 8-16. In certain instances of the fluorene co-monomer, each R 2 is a lower alkyl group substituted with a trivalent branching group each substituted with two PEG moieties (e.g., a -CO-NR" 2 or - 0(CH 2 R") 2 trivalent branching group where each R" is independently a PEG moiety (e.g., -0(CH 2 CH 2 0) n R' where R' is H or an alkyl and n is 1-20, e.g., 3-16 such as n is 8- 16). In certain instances of the fluorene co-monomer, each R 2 is a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) e.g., as described herein.

In certain embodiments, the fluorene co-monomer is described by the following structure:

where R 3 is an alkyl substituted with a water solubilizing group (e.g., a PEG substituted alkyl) or a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) (e.g., as described herein), and R 4 is L 2 -Z 2 wherein L 2 is a linker and Z 2 is a chemoselective tag (e.g., for conjugation to an acceptor chromophore). In some instances, the fluorene co-monomer is described by the structure:

wherein: R 3 is a substituent comprising a water solubilizing group (e.g., as described herein) or a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) (e.g., as described herein); R 4 is L 2 -Z 2 wherein L 2 is a linker and Z 2 is a chemoselective tag (e.g., for conjugation to an acceptor chromophore); and R 5 and R 6 are independently selected from H, a water solubilizing group and an aryl substituent (e.g., an alkyl, a substituted alkyl, an alkoxy, a substituted alkoxy, a halogen or a nitro). In certain instances of the fluorene co- monomer, R 3 is a lower alkyl group substituted with a trivalent branching group each substituted with two PEG moieties (e.g., a -CO-NR" 2 or -0(CH 2 R")2 trivalent branching group where each R" is a PEG moiety (e.g., -0(CH 2 CH 2 0) n R' where R' is H or an alkyl and n is 6-20, e.g., 8-16 such as n is 12-16). In certain instances of the fluorene co- monomer, R 3 is a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) e.g., as described herein.

Any of the fluorene co-monomers described herein may be utilized in the subject multichromophores, e.g., multichromophores of formulae (l)-(IV). In some cases, the multichromophores include, as part of the polymeric backbone, one of the following structures:

where each R 3 is independently a water solubilizing group connected via an optional linker, or an optionally substituted alkyl, aralkyi or aryl group; Ar is an optionally substituted aryl or heteroaryl group; n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and the terminals are sites for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group. In certain embodiments, each R 3 is independently a substituted alkyl group. In certain embodiments, each R 3 is independently a substituted aralkyi group. In some cases, each R 3 and each Ar are independently substituted (via an optional linker) with a water solubilizing group, an acceptor chromophore, a chemoselective functional group or a specific binding moiety.

In certain instances of formula I), F has the structure: wherein: Z is -C(R 1 )(R 2 )-, -Si(R 1 )(R 2 )- or -N(R 1 )-; and R 1 and R 2 are independently a non-ionic WSG, e.g., a linear or branched non-ionic WSG.

In certain instances of formula I), F 1 has the structure:

wherein: Z is -C(R 1 )(R 2 )-, -Si(R 1 )(R 2 )- or -N(R 1 )-; and R 1 and R 2 are independently a branched non-ionic WSG comprising two or more water soluble polymers, e.g., each having 6-30 monomeric units.

Branched non-ionic water soluble groups

A branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprises a branching group that is linked to the co-monomer to which it is attached and provides further linkages to two, three or more non-ionic water soluble polymers. In some instances, the two or more water soluble polymers that are utilized in the WSG are polyethylene glycol (PEG) groups or modified PEG groups. Any convenient branching groups can be utilized that provide for 3 or more points of attachment (e.g., 4 or more), such as one point of attachment to the co-monomer of the conjugated polymer backbone and two or more attachments (e.g., 2, 3, 4 or more) to non-ionic water soluble polymers. The branching group can be attached to the co-monomer and the non-ionic water soluble polymers via optional linkers utilizing any convenient linking functional groups and linking chemistries. In certain instances, the branching group is non-aromatic. In certain instances, the branching group is cyclic. In some cases, the branching group is a substituted aryl or heteroaryl ring, e.g., a trisubstituted or tetrasubstituted aryl ring, such as a trisubstituted or tetrasubstituted phenyl ring, or a trisubstituted or tetrasubstituted heteroaryl ring, such as a trisubstituted or tetrasubstituted pyridyl ring. In certain instances, the branching group is acyclic. In some instances, the branching group is an atom, e.g., C, Si, N. In certain instances, the branching group is a linking functional group such as an amido or a sulfonamide group. In certain instances, the branching group is an amino acid residue or a branched linker, such as a glycerol or an amino-glycerol.

Water-soluble polymers of interest include, but are not limited to, polyalkylene oxide based polymers, such as polyethylene glycol "PEG" (See. e.g., "Poly(ethylene glycol) Chemistry: Biotechnical and Biomedical Applications", J. M. Harris, Ed., Plenum Press, New York, N.Y. (1992); and "Poly(ethylene glycol) Chemistry and Biological

Applications", J. M. Harris and S. Zalipsky, Eds., ACS (1997); and International Patent

Applications: WO 90/13540, WO 92/00748, WO 92/16555, WO 94/04193.WO 94/14758,

WO 94/17039, WO 94/18247, WO 94/28937, WO 95/11924, WO 96/00080, WO

96/23794, WO 98/07713, WO 98/41562, WO 98/48837, WO 99/30727, WO 99/32134,

WO 99/33483, WO 99/53951 , WO 01/26692, WO 95/13312, WO 96/21469, WO

97/03106, WO 99/45964, and U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,179,337; 5,075,046; 5,089,261 ;

5, 100,992; 5,134, 192; 5,166,309; 5, 171 ,264; 5,213,891 ; 5,219,564; 5,275,838;

5,281 ,698; 5,298,643; 5,312,808; 5,321 ,095; 5,324,844; 5,349,001 ; 5,352,756;

5,405,877; 5,455,027; 5,446,090; 5,470,829; 5,478,805; 5,567,422; 5,605,976;

5,612,460; 5,614,549; 5,618,528; 5,672,662; 5,637,749; 5,643,575; 5,650,388;

5,681 ,567; 5,686, 110; 5,730,990; 5,739,208; 5,756,593; 5,808,096; 5,824,778;

5,824,784; 5,840,900; 5,874,500; 5,880, 131 ; 5,900,461 ; 5,902,588; 5,919,442;

5,919,455; 5,932,462; 5,965, 119; 5,965,566; 5,985,263; 5,990,237; 6,011 ,042;

6,013,283; 6,077,939; 6, 113,906; 6, 127,355; 6, 177,087; 6,180,095; 6,194,580;

6,214,966).

Examples of water soluble polymers of interest include, but are not limited to, those containing a polyalkylene oxide, polyamide alkylene oxide, or derivatives thereof, including polyalkylene oxide and polyamide alkylene oxide comprising an ethylene oxide repeat unit of the formula -(CH 2 -CH 2 -0)-. Further examples of polymers of interest include a polyamide having a molecular weight greater than 1 ,000 Daltons of the formula -[C(0)-X-C(0)-NH-Y-NH]n- or -[NH-Y-NH-C(0)-X-C(0)] n -, where X and Y are divalent radicals that may be the same or different and may be branched or linear, and n is a discrete integer from 2-100, such as from 2 to 50, and where either or both of X and Y comprises a biocompatible, substantially non-antigenic water-soluble repeat unit that may be linear or branched. Further examples of water-soluble repeat units comprise an ethylene oxide of the formula -(CH 2 -CH 2 -0)- or -(0-CH 2 -CH 2 )- . The number of such water-soluble repeat units can vary significantly, with the number of such units being from 2 to 500, 2 to 400, 2 to 300, 2 to 200, 2 to 100, 6-100, for example from 2 to 50 or 6 to 50. An example of an embodiment is one in which one or both of X and Y is selected from: -((CH 2 ) n r(CH 2 -CH 2 -0) n2 -(CH 2 )- or -((CH 2 ) n1 -(0-CH 2 -CH 2 ) n2 -(CH 2 ) n -r), where n1 is

1 to 6, 1 to 5, 1 to 4, or 1 to 3, and where n2 is 2 to 50, 2 to 25, 2 to 15, 2 to 10, 2 to 8, or

2 to 5. A further example of an embodiment is one in which X is -(CH 2 -CH 2 )-, and where Y is -(CH 2 -(CH 2 -CH 2 -0) 3 -CH 2 -CH 2 -CH 2 )- or (CH 2 -CH 2 -CH 2 -(0-CH 2 -CH 2 ) 3 -CH 2 )-. As used herein a modified polymer, such as a modified PEG, refers to water soluble polymers that have been modified or derivatized at either or both terminals, e.g., to include a terminal substituent (e.g., a terminal alkyl, substituted alkyl, alkoxy or substituted alkoxy, etc) and/or a terminal linking functional group (e.g., an amino gor carboxylic acid group suitable for attachment via amide bond formation) suitable for attached of the polymer to the multichromophore (e.g., via a branching group). The subject water soluble polymers can be adapted to include any convenient linking groups.

It is understood that in some cases, the water soluble polymer can include some dispersity with respect to polymer length, depending on the method of preparation and/or purification of the polymeric starting materials. In some instances, the subject water soluble polymers are monodisperse. In some instances, the subject water soluble polymers are substantially monodisperse, e.g., include 20 wt% or less of non-target species, such as 15 wt% or less, 10 wt% or less, 5 wt% or less, 2 wt% or less or 1 wt% or less.

The water soluble polymer can include one or more spacers or linkers. Examples of spacers or linkers include linear or branched moieties comprising one or more repeat units employed in a water-soluble polymer, diamino and or diacid units, natural or unnatural amino acids or derivatives thereof, as well as aliphatic moieties, including alkyl, aryl, heteroalkyl, heteroaryl, alkoxy, and the like, which can contain, for example, up to 18 carbon atoms or even an additional polymer chain.

The water soluble polymer moiety, or one or more of the spacers or linkers of the polymer moiety when present, may include polymer chains or units that are biostable or biodegradable. For example, polymers with repeat linkages have varying degrees of stability under physiological conditions depending on bond lability. Polymers with such bonds can be categorized by their relative rates of hydrolysis under physiological conditions based on known hydrolysis rates of low molecular weight analogs, e.g., from less stable to more stable, e.g., polyurethanes (-NH-C(O)-O-) > polyorthoesters (-0- C((OR)(R'))-0-) > polyamides (-C(O)-NH-). Similarly, the linkage systems attaching a water-soluble polymer to a target molecule may be biostable or biodegradable, e.g., from less stable to more stable: carbonate (-O-C(O)-O-) > ester (-C(O)-O-) > urethane (-NH- C(O)-O-) > orthoester (-0-C((OR)(R'))-0-) > amide (-C(O)-NH-). In general, it may be desirable to avoid use of a sulfated polysaccharide, depending on the lability of the sulfate group. In addition, it may be less desirable to use polycarbonates and polyesters. These bonds are provided by way of example and are not intended to limit the types of bonds employable in the polymer chains or linkage systems of the water-soluble polymers useful in the modified aldehyde tagged polypeptides disclosed herein.

In some instances, the branched non-ionic WSG is independently selected from: -Y 1 -(CH2CH 2 0) r R'; -Y 1 -0-CH[(CH 2 ) q -0-(CH2CH 2 0)rR']2 ; and -Y 1 -CH 2 -Ph(Y 1 - (CH 2 CH 2 0)r ')s; wherein Y 1 is selected from a covalent bond, -0-, -CONH-, -NHCO-, NHS0 2 - , -S0 2 -NH- , -CONR-, -NRCO-, NRS0 2 - , -S0 2 -NR- (e.g., where R is alkyl or substituted alkyl), -(CH 2 ) q -S0 2 -NH-, -(CH 2 ) q -CONH- and -(CH 2 ) q -0-, q and r are each independently an integer from 1 to 50, s is 1 , 2 or 3 and each R' is independently H, alkyl (e.g., methyl) or substituted alkyl.

In some instances, the branched non-ionic WSG has one of the following formulae:

wherein:

each B 1 and B 2 are independently a branching group;

each W 1 is independently a non-ionic water soluble polymer, e.g., comprising 6 or more monomeric units;

T 3 is an optional linker to the fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co-monomer; and

each p and q are independently 0 or 1 , wherein if present, each T 1 and each T 2 are independently a linker. In certain instances, each W 1 is independently a PEG or modified PEG polymer. In certain instances, each W 1 is independently selected from a substituted alkyl, a PEG or modified PEG group and a WSG. In certain instances, each W 1 is independently a PEG or modified PEG polymer of 6-30 monomeric units, such as 6-24 or 10-30, 10-24 or 10-20, 12-24, 12-20, 12-16 or 16-20 monomeric units.

In some instances, the branched non-ionic WSG has the following formula: wherein:

each B 1 is a branching group;

each W 1 is independently a non-ionic water soluble polymer, e.g., comprising 6 or more monomeric units;

T 3 is an optional linker to the fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co-monomer; and

each p is independently 0 or 1 , wherein if present, each T 1 is independently a linker. In certain instances, each W 1 is independently a PEG or modified PEG polymer. In certain instances, each W 1 is independently selected from a substituted alkyl, a PEG or modified PEG group and a WSG. In certain instances, each W 1 is independently a PEG or modified PEG polymer of 6-30 monomeric units, such as 6-24 or 10-30, 10-24 or 10-20, 12-24, 12-20, 12-16 or 16-20 monomeric units. In some embodiments of the branched non-ionic WSG, B 1 is a tetra-substituted aryl group (e.g., a 1 ,3,4,5-phenyl).

In some embodiments of the branched non-ionic WSG (e.g., as depicted in the formulae above), B 1 is selected from CH, N, C(=0)N, S0 2 N, a tri-substituted aryl group (e.g., a 1 ,3,5-phenyl), a tetra-substituted aryl group, and a tri-substituted heteroaryl group. In some embodiments of the branched non-ionic WSG, each p is 0. In some embodiments of the branched non-ionic WSG, p is 1 , and each T 1 is selected from - (CH 2 ) n -0- -0-(CH 2 ) n -, -(CH 2 ) n - and -0-, wherein n is from 1 to 12, e.g., 1 to 6. In some embodiments of the branched non-ionic WSG, each T 2 and/or T 3 is independently a C1-C12-alkyl linker, e.g., a C1-C6-alkyl linker, wherein one or more backbone atoms are optionally substituted with a heteroatom.

In some embodiments, the branched non-ionic WSG is selected from one of the following structures:

wherein:

T 5 is an optional linker to the co-monomer (e.g., the fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co- monomer);

T 6 is a linker;

each s is independently an integer from 6 to 100 (e.g., 6 to 50); and

each R 11 is independently hydrogen, an alkyl or a substituted alkyl.

In certain instances, each s is independently 6 to 30, such as 6 to 24, 6 to 20, 11 to 20, 12 to 20, 12 to 18 or 12 to 16. In certain instances, each s is independently 6 to 30, such as 6 to 24, 8 to 24, 10 to 24, 12 to 24, 13 to 24, 14 to 24, 15 to 22 or 16 to 20. In some cases, each s is independently 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 , 22, 23 or 24. In some embodiments, each s is independently 7 or more, such as 8, 9 or more, 10 or more, 11 or more, 12 or more, 13 or more, 14 or more, 15 or more, or even more, and in some cases, have up to 50 monomeric units, such as up to 40, up to 30 or up to 24 monomeric units. In some instances, each s is independently 6-30 monomeric units, such as 6-24 or 10-30, 10-24 or 10-20, 12-24, 12-20, 12-16 or 16-20 monomeric units. In some cases, each s is the same. In some embodiments of the branched non-ionic WSG, T 5 and/or T 6 is a C1-C12-alkyl linker, e.g., a C1-C6-alkyl linker, wherein one or more backbone atoms are optionally substituted with a heteroatom (e.g., an -0-). In some embodiments of the branched non-ionic WSG, each R 11 is H. In some embodiments of the branched non-ionic WSG, each R 11 is methyl.

In some embodiments of formula (I), F 1 is a fluorene co-monomer substituted with two branched non-ionic WSG groups (e.g., as described herein) (e.g., disubstituted at the 9 position). In some embodiments of formula (I), F 1 is a fluorene co-monomer substituted with two linear non-ionic WSG groups (e.g., as described herein) (e.g., disubstituted at the 9 position).

In some embodiments of formula (I), F 1 is of the structure:

wherein s is 6-60;

t is 0-10 (e.g., 0-6 such as 0, 1 , 2, or 3);

R 11 is H, alkyl or substituted alkyl. In certain cases, each R 11 is methyl.

In some embodiments of formula (I), F 1 is selected from one of the following monomers:

Any convenient water solubilizing groups (WSG's) may be included in the multichromophores described herein (e.g., multichromophores of formulae (l)-(IV)) to provide for increased water-solubility. While the increase in solubility may vary, in some instances the increase (as compared to the compound without the WSG(s)) is 2 fold or more, e.g., 5 fold, 10 fold, 25 fold, 50 fold, 100 fold or more. In some cases, the hydrophilic water solubilizing group is charged, e.g., positively or negatively charged. In certain cases, the hydrophilic water solubilizing group is a neutral hydrophilic group. In some embodiments, the WSG is branched (e.g., as described herein). In certain instances, the WSG is linear. In some embodiments, the WSG is a hydrophilic polymer, e.g., a polyethylene glycol, , a modified PEG, a peptide sequence,, a peptoid, a carbohydrate, an oxazoline, a polyol, a dendron, a dendritic polyglycerol, a cellulose, a chitosan, or a derivative thereof. Water solubilizing groups of interest include, but are not limited to, carboxylate, phosphonate, phosphate, sulfonate, sulfate, sulfinate, su!fonium, ester, polyethylene glycols (PEG) and modified PEGs, hydroxyl, amine, amino acid, ammonium, guanidinium, pyridinium, polyamine and sulfonium,

polyalcohols, straight chain or cyclic saccharides, primary, secondary, tertiary, or quaternary amines and polyamines, phosphonate groups, phosphinate groups, ascorbate groups, glycols, including, polyethers, -COOM', -S0 3 M', -P0 3 M', -NR 3 + , Y', (CH 2 CH 2 0)pR and mixtures thereof, where Y' can be any halogen, sulfate, sulfonate, or oxygen containing anion, p can be 1 to 500, each R can be independently H or an alkyl (such as methyl) and M' can be a cationic counterion or hydrogen, - (CH2CH 2 0) yy CH2CH 2 XR yy , -(CH2CH 2 0) yy CH2CH 2 X-, -X(CH2CH 2 0) yy CH 2 CH2~, glycol, and polyethylene glycol, wherein yy is selected from 1 to 1000, X is selected from O, S, and NR ZZ , and R zz and R w are independently selected from H and C 1 _ 3 alkyl. In some cases, a WSG is (CH2)x(OCH 2 CH2) y OCH 3 where each x is independently an integer from 0-20, each y is independently an integer from 0 to 50. In some cases, the water solubilizing group includes a non-ionic polymer (e.g., a PEG polymer) substituted at the terminal with an ionic group (e.g., a sulfonate).

In some embodiments of the formulae, the co-monomer includes a substituent selected from (CH2)x(OCH 2 CH2) y OCH 3 where each x is independently an integer from 0- 20, each y is independently an integer from 0 to 50; and a benzyl optionally substituted with one or more halogen, hydroxyl, C C 12 alkoxy, or (OCH 2 CI-l2)zOCI-l3 where each z is independently an integer from 0 to 50. In some instances, the substituent is

(CH2)3(OCH2CH 2 )iiOCH 3 . In some embodiments, one or more of the substituents is a benzyl substituted with at least one WSG groups (e.g., one or two WSG groups) selected from (CH2)x(OCH 2 CH2) y OCH 3 where each x is independently an integer from 0- 20 and each y is independently an integer from 0 to 50.

Multiple WSGs may be included at a single location in the subject

multichromophores via a branching linker. In certain embodiments, the branching linker is an aralkyl substituent, further di-substituted with water solubilizing groups. As such, in some cases, the branching linker group is a substituent of the multichromophore that connects the multichromophore to two or more water solubilizing groups. In certain embodiments, the branching linker is an amino acid, e.g., a lysine amino acid that is connected to three groups via the amino and carboxylic acid groups. In some cases, the incorporation of multiple WSGs via branching linkers imparts a desirable solubility on the multichromophore. In some instances, the WSG is a non-ionic sidechain group capable of imparting solubility in water in excess of 50 mg/mL. In some instances, the WSG is a non-ionic sidechain group capable of imparting solubility in water in excess of 100 mg/mL. In some embodiments, the multichromophore includes substituent(s) selected from the group consisting of, an alkyl, an aralkyl and a heterocyclic group, each group further substituted with a include water solubilizing groups hydrophilic polymer group, such as a polyethylglycol (PEG) (e.g., a PEG group of 2-20 units). In certain instances of any one of the formulae described herein, one or more of the co-monomers is substituted with a WSG and/or a linked signaling chromophore. Any convenient WSG can adapted for inclusion into a co-monomer of the subject polymeric dyes. In certain instances of any one of the formulae described herein, one or more of the co-monomers is substituted with a WSG that is independently selected from one of the following structures:

wherein: each R 11 is H, an alkyl (e.g., methyl) or a substituted alkyl; T 5 is an optional linker; T 6 is an linker; and each s is independently an integer from 1 to 100 (e.g., 1 to 50, or 6 to 50). In certain instances, each s is independently 1 to 50, such as 3 to 40, 3 to 30, 3 to 20, 3 to 15, 3 to 12, or 6 to 12. In certain cases, each s is independently 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 or 20. In some cases, each s is 3. In some cases, each s is 4. In some cases, each s is 5. In some cases, each s is 6. In some cases, each s is 7. In some cases, each s is 8. In some cases, each s is 9. In some cases, each s is 10. In some cases, each s is 1 1. In some cases, each s is 12. In some cases, each s is 14. In some cases, each s is 16. In some embodiments, T 5 is an alkyl linker, such as a C1-C12 or C1-C6 alkyl linker. In some embodiments, T 5 is a substituted alkyl linker. In some embodiments, T 5 is an alkoxy linker (e.g., -O-alkyl-). In some embodiments, T 5 is a substituted alkoxy. It is understood that hydroxy-terminated PEG chains instead of methoxy-terminated PEG chains may be utilized in any of the WSG groups described herein. In some embodiments, each R 11 is H. In some

embodiments, each R 11 is methyl. In certain instances of any one of the formulae described herein, one or more of the co-monomers is substituted with a WSG that is independently selected from one of the following structures:

wherein: T 5 is an optional linker; and each s is an integer from 1 to 50. In certain instances of the WSG, T 5 is absent. In certain instances, each s of the WSG is independently 1 to 20, such as 3 to 20, 3 to 15, 3 to 12, or 6 to 12. In certain cases, each s of the WSG is independently 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12. In some cases, each s of the WSG is 3. In some cases, each s of the WSG is 4. In some cases, each s of the WSG is 5. In some cases, each s is 6. In some cases, each s of the WSG is 7. In some cases, each s of the WSG is 8. In some cases, each s of the WSG is 9. In some cases, each s of the WSG is 10. In some cases, each s of the WSG is 1 1. In some cases, each s of the WSG is 12. In some cases, each s of the WSG is 14. In some cases, each s of the WSG is 16. In some embodiments, T 5 is an alkyl linker, such as a C1-C12 or C1-C6 alkyl linker. In some embodiments, T 5 is a substituted alkyl linker. In some embodiments, T 5 is an alkoxy linker (e.g., -O-alkyl-). In some embodiments, T 5 is a substituted alkoxy. It is understood that hydroxy- terminated PEG chains instead of methoxy- terminated PEG chains may be utilized in any of the WSG groups described above. In certain instances of any one of the formulae described herein, one or more of the co-monomers is substituted with a WSG that is a dendron selected from one of the following structures:

s) where R = H, CH 3 ^\^0~l

m = l- 16

In certain instances of any one of the formulae described herein, one or more of the co-monomers is substituted with a WSG that is a polyol selected from one of the following structures:

m,p=0-10 In certain instances of any one of the formulae described herein, one or more of the co-monomers is substituted with WSG that is an oxazoline of the following structure:

In certain instances of any one of the formulae described herein, one or more of the co-monomers is substituted with a WSG that is a peptoid selected from one of the following structures:

In some embodiments of formula (I), n is 5 or more, such as 10 or more, 30 or more, 100 or more, 300 or more, 1000 or more, 3000 or more, or even more. It is understood that a population of conjugated polymers may be represented by the subject formulae that includes some variation with respect to the particular length. In some cases, the conjugated segment can constitute 25 mol% or more of the

multichromophore, such as 30 mol% or more, 40 mol% or more, 50 mol% or more, 60 mol% or more, 70 mol% or more, 80 mol% or more, or 90 mol% or more.

In some embodiments of formula (I), the multichromophore has the structure of formula (II):

(II)

wherein:

M 1 , M 2 and L 1 are independently an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

Z 1 is a linked chemoselective functional group or a linked acceptor chromophore; x and y represent % molarity of the units in the multichromophore; and

G 1 and G 2 are each independently selected from a terminal group, a π

conjugated segment, a linker and a linked specific binding member. In some instances of formula (II), x is 5% or more by molarity (e.g., 5 mol%) of the multichromophore, such as 10% or more, 15% or more, 20% or more, 25% or more, 30% or more, 35% or more, 40% or more, 45% or more, 50% or more, 55% or more, 60% or more, 65% or more, 70% or more, 75% or more, 80% or more, 85% or more, 90% or more, or even more, where x+y is 100%. In some instances of formula (II), y is 5% or more by molarity (e.g., 5 mol%) of the multichromophore, such as 10% or more, 15% or more, 20% or more, 25% or more, 30% or more, 35% or more, 40% or more, 45% or more, 50% or more, 55% or more, 60% or more, 65% or more, 70% or more, 75% or more, 80% or more, 85% or more, 90% or more, or even more.

In some embodiments of formulae (l)-(ll), the polymeric dye has the structure of formula (lla):

(lla)

wherein F 1 is a fused tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a water soluble group (WSG) (e.g., as described herein); M 1 , M 2 and L 1 are independently an aryl or heteroaryl co- monomer (e.g., as described herein); Z 1 is a linked chemoselective functional group or a linked acceptor chromophore; G 1 and G 2 are each independently selected from a terminal group, a π conjugated segment, a linker and a linked specific binding member; and w, x, y and z represent % molarity of the units in the multichromophore. In some instances of formula (lla), w is 5% or more by molarity (e.g., 5 mol%) of the

multichromophore, such as 10% or more, 15% or more, 20% or more, 25% or more, 30% or more, 35% or more, 40% or more, 45% or more, 50% or more, 55% or more, 60% or more, 65% or more, 70% or more, 75% or more, 80% or more, 85% or more, 90% or more, or even more, where w+x+y+z is 100%. In some instances of formula (lla), x is 5% or more by molarity (e.g., 5 mol%) of the multichromophore, such as 10% or more, 15% or more, 20% or more, 25% or more, 30% or more, 35% or more, 40% or more, 45% or more, 50% or more, 55% or more, 60% or more, 65% or more, 70% or more, 75% or more, 80% or more, 85% or more, 90% or more, or even more, where w+x+y+z is 100%. In some instances of formula (lla), y is 5% or more by molarity (e.g., 5 mol%) of the multichromophore, such as 10% or more, 15% or more, 20% or more, 25% or more, 30% or more, 35% or more, 40% or more, 45% or more, 50% or more, 55% or more, 60% or more, 65% or more, 70% or more, 75% or more, 80% or more, 85% or more, 90% or more, or even more. In some instances of formula (lla), z is 5% or more by molarity (e.g., 5 mol%) of the multichromophore, such as 10% or more, 15% or more, 20% or more, 25% or more, 30% or more, 35% or more, 40% or more, 45% or more, 50% or more, 55% or more, 60% or more, 65% or more, 70% or more, 75% or more, 80% or more, 85% or more, 90% or more, or even more, where w+x+y+z is 100%.

In some embodiments, the polymeric dye has the structure of formula (lib):

wherein u, v, w, x, y and z represent mol% values for each co-monomer in the multichromophore; Y 1-3 are each independently a Z group of a fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co- monomer, e.g., as described herein; M 1 , M 2 and M 3 are each an aryl or heteroaryl co- monomer; and G 1 and G 2 are each independently selected from a terminal group, a π conjugated segment, a linker and a linked specific binding member. It is understood that any of the polymeric dyes described herein can be represented by formula (lib). In some instances of formula (lib), u+w+y constitutes 5% or more by molarity (e.g., 5 mol%) of the multichromophore, such as 10% or more, 15% or more, 20% or more, 25% or more, 30% or more, 35% or more, 40% or more, 45% or more, 50% or more, 55% or more, 60% or more, 65% or more, 70% or more, 75% or more, 80% or more, 85% or more, 90% or more, or even more. In certain instances, z is 0. In some instances of formula (lib), v+x+z constitutes 80% or less by molarity (e.g., 80 mol%) of the multichromophore, such as 75% or less, 70% or less, 65% or less, 60% or less, 55% or less, 50% or less, 45% or less, 40% or less, 35% or less, 30% or less, 25% or less, 20% or less, 15% or less, 10% or less, or even less.

In some instances of formula (lib), u is 5% or more, such as 10% or more, 15% or more, 20% or more, 25% or more, 30% or more, 35% or more, 40% or more, 45% or more, 50% or more, 55% or more, 60% or more, 65% or more, 70% or more, 75% or more, 80% or more, 85% or more, 90% or more, or even more. In some instances of formula (lib), w is 5% or more, such as 10% or more, 15% or more, 20% or more, 25% or more, 30% or more, 35% or more, 40% or more, 45% or more, 50% or more, 55% or more, 60% or more, 65% or more, 70% or more, 75% or more, 80% or more, 85% or more, 90% or more, or even more. In some instances of formula (lib), y is 1 % or more, such as 2% or more, 5% or more, 10% or more, 15% or more, 20% or more, 25% or more, 30% or more, 35% or more, 40% or more, 45% or more, 50% or more, 55% or more, 60% or more, 65% or more, 70% or more, 75% or more, 80% or more, 85% or more, 90% or more, or even more. In some instances of formula (lib), v is 80% or less, such as 75% or less, 70% or less, 65% or less, 60% or less, 55% or less, 50% or less, 45% or less, 40% or less, 35% or less, 30% or less, 25% or less, 20% or less, 15% or less, 10% or less, or even less. In some instances of formula (lib), x is 80% or less, such as 75% or less, 70% or less, 65% or less, 60% or less, 55% or less, 50% or less, 45% or less, 40% or less, 35% or less, 30% or less, 25% or less, 20% or less, 15% or less, 10% or less, or even less. In some instances of formula (lib), z is 80% or less, such as 75% or less, 70% or less, 65% or less, 60% or less, 55% or less, 50% or less, 45% or less, 40% or less, 35% or less, 30% or less, 25% or less, 20% or less, 15% or less, 10% or less, or even less.

In some embodiments of formula (I), the multichromophore has the structure of formula (III):

wherein:

F 1 is the fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co-monomer;

M 1 , M 2 and L 1 are independently an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

Z 1 is a linked chemoselective functional group or a linked acceptor chromophore; each n is independently an integer from 1 to 10,000;

each m is 0 or independently an integer from 1 to 10,000;

p is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

G 1 and G 2 are each independently selected from a terminal group, a π

conjugated segment, a linker and a linked specific binding member.

In certain embodiments of formula (III), the multichromophore has the structure of formula (IV):

(IV).

In some instances of formulae (ll)-(IV), L 1 is a fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co-monomer substituted with Z 1 and a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) (e.g., as described herein). In certain instances of formulae ll)-(IV), L 1 has the structure:

wherein: R 3 is a a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) (e.g., as described herein); and R 4 is L 2 -Z 2 wherein L 2 is a linker and Z 2 is the chemoselective functional group or acceptor chromophore. In certain embodiments of L 1 , R 3 is selected from one of the following structures:

In some cases of L 1 , T 5 is a C1-C6 linker. In certain cases, each s is 6-30, such as 6 to 20, 11 to 20, 12 to 20, or 12 to 16. In certain cases, each s is independently 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 or 20. In some cases, each s is 1 1. In some cases, each s is 12. In some cases, each s is 13. In some cases, each s is 14. In some cases, each s is 15. In some cases, each s is 16. In some cases, each s is 17. In some cases, each s is 18. In some cases, each s is 19. In some cases, each s is 20. In certain embodiments of L 1 , R 4 is is L 2 -Z 2 wherein L 2 is a linker (e.g., a C1-C20 linker optionally including one or heteroatoms or linking functional groups (e.g., -CONH- or S0 2 NH-) in the backbone of the linker; and Z 2 is the chemoselective functional group (e.g., an amino or a protected amino, or a carboxylic acid or active ester thereof, or a protected carboxylic acid). In some cases, L 1 has one of the structures:

In some embodiments of formulae (l)-(IV), the polymeric dye has the structure of formula (V) or (VI):

(VI)

wherein each WSG is independently a branched or linear WSG (e.g., as described herein); Z 1 is a linked chemoselective functional group or a linked acceptor

chromophore; G 1 and G 2 are each independently selected from a terminal group, a π conjugated segment, a linker and a linked specific binding member; and x, y and z represent % molarity of the units in the multichromophore. In some cases of formula (V) In some embodiments of formulae (l)-(VI), the polymeric dye has the structure of

(VIII)

wherein each s is independently an integer from 6 to 50, such as 6-30, 6 to 20, 11 to 20, 12 to 20, or 12 to 16; each R 11 is independently hydrogen, an alkyl or a substituted alkyl; DYE is the linked acceptor chromophore (e.g., a fluorophore); r is 0-6 (e.g., 0, 1 , 2, 3 or 4); and q is 1-12, such as 1-6 (e.g., 1 , 2, 3 or 4).

Any convenient co-monomers can be adapted to include a sidechain substituent group that provides for conjugation of the polymeric dye to a moiety of interest, such as an signaling chromophore or a biomolecule. Any of the co-monomers can include a substituent that imparts increased water solubility upon the polymeric dye.

In some embodiments of any of the formulae described herein, n, m and p are selected such that the multichromophore includes 2 to 100,000 repeat units (i.e., monomeric repeat units) in total, where the multichromophore may include a variety of distinct monomeric repeat units. In some instances, when m is 0, p is 1 and n is 2 to 100,000. It is understood that the conjugated polymer of formulae described herein can also be represented by a formula that provides mol% values for each co-monomer in the polymer. It is further understood that in some cases, the polymerization methods may produce a composition including a population of conjugated polymers that includes some variation with respect to the particular length and/or terminal groups (i.e., end groups) present in each conjugated polymer of the population. The formulae depicted herein may refer to a single compound or to a population or sub-population of polymeric compounds. Aryl or Heteroaryl Co-Monomers

As summarized above, the subject polymeric dyes include conjugated segments of aryl or heteroaryl co-monomers linked via covalent bonds, vinylene groups or ethynylene groups. In addition to the co-monomers described in the exemplary formulae above, a variety of aryl and heteroaryl co-monomers find use in the subject polymeric dyes. Any convenient aryl and heteroaryl co-monomers may be utilized in the subject multichromophores, e.g., in a band gap modifying unit, and may be evenly or randomly distributed along the conjugated polymer as described herein.

In some embodiments of formulae described herein, e.g., formula (l)-(IV), the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomers, e.g., L 1 , M 1 , M 2 and M 3 are independently selected from one of form -(XXVI):

wherein

Cy 2 -7 is an aryl or heteroaryl group comprising 2 to 7 fused and/or unfused rings;

Y 2 , Y 3 and Y 4 are independently selected from -CR 3 -, NR 3 , N, O, S and -C(=0)- and together form a 5 or 6 membered fused aryl or heteraryl ring;

each R 3 is one or more ring substituents independently selected from H, halogen, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy substituted alkoxy and -T 1 -Z 1 ;

R 1 and R 2 are independently selected from H, halogen, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy an 1 -Z 1 , or R 1 and R 2 together form a 5- or 6- membered fused aryl, heteroaryl, cycloalkyi or heterocycle ring which can be optionally substituted;

Y 5 is N or CR 5 and Y 7 is N or CR 7 ;

R 4 -R 7 are independently selected from H, halogen, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy and -T 1 -Z 1 ;

Z 1 is a chemoselective functional group or a linked signaling chromophore; and

T 1 is a linker.

Cy 2 .7 is an aryl or heteroaryl group that can include 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 rings which can be fused together to form one fused ring system or may be unfused (i.e., linked together via single covalent bonds). In some cases, Cy 2 _ 7 is includes 2 or 3 unfused aryl and/or heteroaryl rings. In certain instances, Cy 2 . 7 is composed of 5 and/or 6 membered carbocyclic and/or heterocyclic rings. In certain cases, Cy 2 . 7 is a bicyclic, tricyclic or quadricyclic aryl or heteroaryl group, such as naphthalene, anthracene, acridine, or quinoline, etc..

In certain embodiments of formulae (XXIII)-(XXVI), the co-monomers (e.g., M 1 , M 2 and M 3 ) are independently selected from one of the following structures (a) to (x):

wherein:

each Y 8 is independently C(R 3 ) 2 , -C(R 3 ) 2 C(R 3 ) 2 -, -C(R 3 ) 2 Si(R 3 ) 2 -, NR 3 or Si(R 3 ) 2 ;

X is S or 0;each R 3 is independently H, a water solubilizing group (e.g., as described herein), amino, substituted amino, halogen, cyano, alkyi, substituted alkyi, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy and -T 1 -Z 1 ; R 1 and R 2 are independently selected from H, halogen, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy and -T 1 -Z 1 , or R 1 and R 2 together form a 5- or 6- membered fused aryl, heteroaryl, cycloalkyi or heterocycle ring which can be optionally substituted (e.g., with an R 3 group);

Z 1 is a chemoselective functional group or a linked signaling chromophore; and

T 1 is a linker.

In certain instances, Y 8 is C(R 3 ) 2 . In certain instances, Y 8 is -C(R 3 ) 2 C(R 3 ) 2 -. In certain instances, Y 8 is NR 3 . In certain instances, Y 8 is Si(R 3 ) 2 . In certain embodiments of formula (a)-(x), when the co-monomer is a linking co-monomer, at least one of R 1 -R 7 is - T 1 -Z 1 . In certain embodiments of formula (a)-(x), the co-monomer includes a water- solubilizing group (e.g., as described herein). In certain embodiments of formula (s), R 3 is H, halogen (e.g., F) or alkoxy (e.g., methoxy). It is understood that in any of the structures of (a)-(x) described herein, a N heteroatom can be included to convert a phenyl or fused benzo ring into a pyridyl or fused pyrido ring. Such heteroatom substituted versions of formula (a)-(x) are meant to be included in the present disclosure. In some instances of formula (XXIII)-(XXVI), one or more of the co-monomers have the structure of one of formula s), where a benzo ring is replaced with a pyrido ring:

where Y 8 is independently C(R 4 ) 2 , -C(R 4 ) 2 C(R 4 ) 2 -, NR 4 or Si(R 4 ) 2 .

In some instances of formula (XXIII)-(XXVI) and (a)-(x), the co-monomers (M 2 4 ) are independently selected from one of the following structures (ba) to (cd):

wherein:

Y 9 is C(R 4 ) 2 , -C(R 4 ) 2 C(R 4 ) 2 - or Si(R 4 ) 2 ;

X is S or O;

each R 4 is independently H, a water solubilizing group (e.g., as described herein), alkyi, substituted alkyi, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy and -T 1 -Z 1 ; and R 1 and R 2 are independently selected from H, halogen, alkyi, substituted alkyi, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy and -T 1 -Z 1 , or R 1 and R 2 together form a 5- or 6- membered fused aryl or heteroaryl ring which can be optionally substituted. In certain embodiments of formula (ba)-(cd), when the co-monomer is a linking co-monomer, at least one of R 4 is -T 1 -Z 1 . In certain embodiments of formula (ba)-(cd), R 4 includes a water-solubilizing group (e.g., as described herein).

The aryl and heteroaryl co-monomers described herein (e.g., co-monomers of formula (l)-(IV), (a)-(x) and (ba)-(cd)) can include a water solubilizing group WSG (e.g., as described herein). In some embodiments, the aryl and heteroaryl co-monomer includes a branched non-ionic WSG that is selected from one of the following structures:

wherein: T 5 is an optional linker to the co-monomer; each s is independently an integer from 6 to 50 or 6-30, such as 6 to 20, 1 1 to 20, 12 to 20, or 12 to 16; and each R 11 is independently hydrogen, an alkyl or a substituted alkyl. In certain cases, each s is independently 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 or 20. In some cases, each s is 11. In some cases, each s is 12. In some cases, each s is 13. In some cases, each s is 14. In some cases, each s is 15. In some cases, each s is 16. In some cases, each s is 17. In some cases, each s is 18. In some cases, each s is 19. In some cases, each s is 20. In some embodiments, T 5 is an alkyl linker, such as a C1-C6 alkyl linker. In some embodiments, T 5 is a substituted alkyl linker. In some embodiments, T 5 is an alkoxy linker (e.g., -O-alkyl-). In some embodiments, T 5 is a substituted alkoxy.

In certain instances of the co-monomers, the aryl and heteroaryl co-monomer includes a WSG (e.g., R 3 and/or R 4 ) selected from one of the following structures:

wherein: T 5 is an optional linker; and each s is an integer from 1 to 50. In certain instances, each s is independently 1 to 20, such as 3 to 20, 3 to 15, 3 to 12, or 6 to 20 or 6 to 12 or 12-16. In certain cases, each s is independently 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12. In some cases, each s is 3. In some cases, each s is 4. In some cases, each s is 5. In some cases, each s is 6. In some cases, each s is 7. In some cases, each s is 8. In some cases, each s is 9. In some cases, each s is 10. In some cases, each s is 11. In some embodiments, T 5 is an alkyl linker, such as a C1-C6 alkyl linker. In some embodiments, T 5 is a substituted alkyl linker. In some embodiments, T 5 is an alkoxy linker (e.g., -O-alkyl-). In some embodiments, T 5 is a substituted alkoxy.

In certain embodiments of the formulae described herein, e.g., formulae (l)-(IV), the co-monomers (e.g., M 1 , M 2 and M 3 ) are independently selected from one of the following structures:

where each s is independently 1-30, such as 6-30, such as 6 to 20, 1 1 to 20, 12 to 20, or 12 to 16. In certain cases, each s is independently 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 or 20. In some cases, each s is 4. In some cases, each s is 5. In some cases, each s is 6. In some cases, each s is 7. In some cases, each s is 8. In some cases, each s is 9. In some cases, each s is 10. In some cases, each s is 11. In some cases, each s is 12. In some cases, each s is 13. In some cases, each s is 14. In some cases, each s is 15. In some cases, each s is 16. In some cases, each s is 17. In some cases, each s is 18. In some cases, each s is 19. In some cases, each s is 20.

In some instances, the multichromophore (e.g., of formulae (l)-(IV)) includes a co-monomer (e.g., L 1 ) linked to a signaling chromophore having the one of the following

wherein WSG is an optional water soluble group; T 2 is a linker; and Dye is the signaling chromophore.

In certain embodiments, the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer is an optionally substituted co-monomer selected from 2,1 ,3-benzothiadiazole, 2, 1 ,3- benzoxadiazole, benzoxidazole, benzoselenadiazole, benzotellurodiazole,

naphthoselenadiazole, 4,7-di(thien-2-yl)-2, 1 ,3-benzothiadiazole, squaraine dyes, quinoxalines, perylene, perylene diimides, diketopyrrolopyrrole, thienopyrazine low bandgap commercial dyes, olefins, and cyano-substituted olefins and isomers thereof. In some instances, aryl and heteroaryl co-monomers which find use in the subject multichromophores are selected from a'- m' having the structure:

wherein * = a site for covalent attachment to unsaturated backbone and each R is independently H, a non-ionic side group capable of imparting solubility in water (e.g., a WSG), or -L 2 -Z 2 , where L 2 is a linker and Z 2 is a chemoselective tag or a linked metal complex. In certain instances of a'-m', each R is H or a water solubilizing group (e.g., as described herein). In certain cases, each R is an alkyl or a benzyl substituted with one or more (CH2)x(OCH2CH 2 )yOCH 3 where each x is independently an integer from 0-20, each y is independently an integer from 0 to 50. In certain instances of a'-m', each R is (CH2)3(OCH2CH 2 )iiOCH 3 . In certain instances of a'-m', each R is H or a non-ionic branched WSG, e.g., as described herein. In some embodiments, the multichromophore includes an absorbance- modifying co-monomer having the following structure:

where X is O or S, R and R are each independently, H, halogen, a WSG, an alkyl, a substituted alkyl, an alkoxy and a substituted alkoxy. In certain instances, X is O. In some instances, X is S. In certain embodiments, X is O and R 41 and R 42 are each H. In certain embodiments, X is S and R 41 and R 42 are each H.

In some instances, the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer is a substituted or unsubstituted phenyl, biphenyl or pyridyl co-monomer. In certain embodiments, the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer is selected from substituted or unsubstituted 1 ,4-phenyl, a substituted or unsubstituted 1 ,3-phenyl, a substituted or unsubstituted 4,4'-biphenyl, a substituted or unsubstituted 2,5-pyridyl, and a substituted or unsubstituted 2,6-pyridyl. In certain instances, the absorbance-modifying co-monomer is an optionally substituted aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer selected from one of the following structures:

where Z 2 -Z 5 are each independently CR or N, where at least one Z 2 -Z 5 is N; and each R and each R 11 -R 16 are independently selected from the group consisting of hydrogen, water solubilizing group, halogen, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, alkyl and substituted alkyl. In certain embodiments, one and only one of Z 2 -Z 5 is N. In certain embodiments, two and only two of Z 2 -Z 5 is N. In certain instances, R 11 , R 12 and R 14 are each H. In some instances, R 12 and R 14 are each H. In some instances, R 11 and R 13 are each H. In some cases, R 15 and R 16 are each H. In some instances, the halogen is fluoro.

In some cases, the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer selected from one of the

where n is 1-20 and R' is H or lower alkyl. In some embodiments of the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer structures, n is an integer from 6 to 20, such as 12-20 or 12-16 or 16-20.

In some embodiments, the multichromophore includes a substituted aryl co- monomer described by the following structures:

where n is 1-20 and R' is H or lower alkyl. In certain instances, n is 3 to 12. In some embodiments, the multichromophore includes a substituted aryl co-monomer described by the following structure:

where each n is independently 1-20 and each R' is independently H or lower alkyl. In certain embodiments of the substituted aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer structures shown above, n is 3. In some instances, n is 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 or 20. In certain instances, R' is methyl. In certain instances, R' is hydrogen. In some embodiments, the multichromophore includes a substituted aryl co-monomer described by the following structure:

In some embodiments, the multichromophore includes a substituted aryl co-monomer described by the following structure:

In some embodiments of any of the formula described herein, the

multichromophore includes a substituted aryl co-monomer (M1) having on the following structures:

wherein s is 6-50 (e.g., 6-40, 6-30 or 6-20); and each R 11 is independently H, alkyl or substituted alkyl. In some embodiments, the multichromophore includes a substituted aryl co-monomer including a branched non-ionic WSG described by one of the following

Any of the absorbance-modifying co-monomers described above may be utilized in the subject multichromophores, e.g., multichromophores of formulae (l)-(IV).

Polymeric Tandem Dyes

The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore can itself be fluorescent and capable of transferring energy to a linked acceptor signaling chromophore. As such, the subject polymeric tandem dyes further include a covalently linked acceptor signaling chromophore in energy-receiving proximity to the donor water solvated light harvesting multichromophore. As such, excitation of the multichromophore donor leads to energy transfer to and emission from the covalently attached acceptor signaling chromophore. The number of signaling chromophore acceptor units that are linked to the donor water solvated light harvesting multichromophore may vary, where in some instances the number ranges from 1 mol% to 50 mol%, such as from 5 mol% to 25 mol% or from 10 mol% to 25 mol%.

Mechanisms for energy transfer from the fluorescent water solvated light harvesting multichromophore donor to the linked acceptor signaling chromophroe include, for example, resonant energy transfer (e.g., Forster (or fluorescence) resonance energy transfer, FRET), quantum charge exchange (Dexter energy transfer) and the like. In some instances, these energy transfer mechanisms are relatively short range; that is, close proximity of the light harvesting multichromophore system to the acceptor provides for efficient energy transfer. In some instances, under conditions for efficient energy transfer, amplification of the emission from the acceptor occurs where the emission from the luminescent signaling chromophore is more intense when the incident light (the "pump light") is at a wavelength which is absorbed by the light harvesting

multichromophore than when the luminescent signaling chromophore is directly excited by the pump light.

By "efficient" energy transfer is meant 10% or more, such as 20% or more or

30% or more, of the energy harvested by the donor is transferred to the acceptor. By "amplification" is meant that the signal from the signaling chromophore is 1.5x or greater when excited by energy transfer from the donor light harvesting multichromophore as compared to direct excitation with incident light of an equivalent intensity. The signal may be measured using any convenient method. In some cases, the 1.5x or greater signal refers to an intensity of emitted light. In certain cases, the 1.5x or greater signal refers to an increased signal to noise ratio. In certain embodiments of the polymeric tandem dye, the signaling chromophore emission is 1.5 fold greater or more when excited by the multichromophore as compared to direct excitation of the signaling chromophore with incident light, such as 2-fold or greater, 3-fold or greater, 4-fold or greater, 5-fold or greater, 6-fold or greater, 8-fold or greater, 10-fold or greater, 20-fold or greater, 50-fold or greater, 100-fold or greater, or even greater as compared to direct excitation of the signaling chromophore with incident light.

The linked luminescent signaling chromophore emission of the polymeric tandem dye can have a quantum yield of 0.03 or more, such as a quantum yield of 0.04 or more, 0.05 or more, 0.06 or more, 0.07 or more, 0.08 or more, 0.09 or more, 0.1 or more, 0.15 or more, 0.2 or more, 0.3 or more or even more. In some instances, the polymeric tandem dye has an extinction coefficient of 5 x 10 5 cm -1 M -1 or more, such as 6 x 10 5 cm- 1 M -1 or more, 7 x 10 5 cm -1 M -1 or more, 8 x 10 5 cm -1 M -1 or more, 9 x 10 5 cm -1 M -1 or more, such as 1 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more, 1.5 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more, 2 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more, 2.5 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more, 3 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more, 4 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more, 5 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more, 6 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more, 7 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more, or 8 x 10 6 cm -1 M -1 or more. In some embodiments, the polymeric tandem dye has a molar extinction coefficient of 5 x 10 5 M -1 cm -1 or more. In certain embodiments, the polymeric tandem dye has a molar extinction coefficient of 1 x 10 6 M -1 cm -1 or more.

The subject polymeric tandem dyes provide for fluorescence emissions from luminescent signaling chromophore dyes that are brighter than the emissions which are possible from such luminescent dyes in isolation. The linked luminescent signaling chromophore emission of the polymeric tandem dye can have a brightness of 50 mM- 1 cm -1 or more, such as 60 mM -1 cm -1 or more, 70 mM -1 cm -1 or more, 80 mM -1 cm -1 or more, 90 mM -1 cm -1 or more, 100 mM -1 cm -1 or more, 150 mM -1 cm -1 or more, 200 mM -1 cm- 1 or more, 250 mM -1 cm -1 or more, 300 mM -1 cm -1 or more, or even more. In certain instances, the linked signaling chromophore emission of the polymeric tandem dye has a brightness that is at least 5-fold greater than the brightness of a directly excited luminescent dye, such as at least 10-fold greater, at least 20-fold greater, at least 30-fold greater, at least 50-fold greater, at least 100-fold greater, at least 300-fold greater, or even greater than the brightness of a directly excited luminescent dye.

In some embodiments, a polymeric tandem dye includes: a water soluble light harvesting multichromophore comprising a conjugated segment having the structure of formula (I):

wherein:

F 1 is a fused tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a water soluble group (WSG); M 1 is an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

* denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group;

wherein at least one of F 1 and M 1 is substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6 or more monomeric units; and a signaling chromophore covalently linked to the multichromophore in energy- receiving proximity therewith.

In some embodiments, a polymeric tandem dye includes: a water soluble light harvesting multichromophore comprising a conjugated segment having the structure of formula (I):

(I)

wherein:

F 1 is a fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6-30 monomeric units (e.g., 10-20 units, 12-16 units, etc);

M 1 is an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

* denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group; and

a signaling chromophore covalently linked to the multichromophore in energy- receiving proximity therewith. The branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) can be capable of imparting solubility in water in excess of 10 mg/mL to the polymeric tandem dye, such as in excess of 20 mg/mL, in excess of 30 mg/mL, in excess of 40 mg/mL, in excess of 50 mg/mL, in excess of 60 mg/mL, in excess of 70 mg/mL, in excess of 80 mg/mL, in excess of 90 mg/mL or in excess of 100 mg/mL. In certain cases, the branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) is capable of imparting solubility in water (e.g., an aqueous buffer) of 20 mg/mL or more to the polymeric tandem dye, such as 30 mg/mL or more, 40 mg/mL or more, 50 mg/mL or more, 60 mg/mL or more, 70 mg/mL or more, 80 mg/mL or more, 90 mg/mL or more, 100 mg/mL or more, or even more.

In certain embodiments or the formulae described herein, e.g., formulae (l)-(IV) and (a)-(w) and (ba)-(cb), a linked signaling chromophore (e.g., as described herein) is included as a substituent of a co-monomer. Any convenient signaling chromophore can be attached to any convenient polymer dye described herein via coupling of compatible chemoselective functional groups. The signaling chromophore can be selected to provide for a desirable emission spectra and emission maximum wavelength. As used herein, the terms "chemoselective functional group" and "chemoselective tag" are used interchangeably and refer to a functional group that can selectively react with another compatible functional group to form a covalent bond, in some cases, after optional activation of one of the functional groups. Chemoselective functional groups of interest include, but are not limited to, thiols and maleimide or iodoacetamide, amines and carboxylic acids or active esters thereof, as well as groups that can react with one another via Click chemistry, e.g., azide and alkyne groups (e.g., cyclooctyne groups), as well as hydroxyl, hydrazido, hydrazino, aldehyde, ketone, azido, alkyne, phosphine, epoxide, and the like.

Any convenient linking co-monomers may be incorporated into the subject multichromophores to provide for a linking group to which may be attached any convenient moieties of interest (e.g., a linked signaling chromophore). Linking co- monomers of interest include, but are not limited to, those co-monomers described in the formulae herein, and a fluorene co-monomer, a phenylenevinylene co-monomer, a phenyleneethynylene co-monomer, a carbazole co-monomer, a C 2 -C 12 alkyne co- monomer, an arylene-ethynylene co-monomer, a heteroarylene-ethynylene co- monomer, an arylene co-monomer and a heteroarylene co-monomer. As used herein, the terms aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer and arylene or heteroarylene co-monomer are used interchangeably. In certain cases, the linking co-monomer is a substituted aryl co- monomer. In certain cases, the linking co-monomer is a substituted heteroaryl co- monomer. In certain cases, the linking co-monomer is a substituted or unsubstituted 1 ,4- phenyl, a substituted or unsubstituted 1 ,3-phenyl, a substituted or unsubstituted 4,4'- biphenyl, a substituted or unsubstituted 2,5-pyridyl, and a substituted or unsubstituted 2,6-pyridyl.

In some instances of any of the formula described herein, the signaling chromophore is linked to a co-monomer comprising 1 % to 50% by molarity of the multichromophore, such as 1 % to 20%, 1 % to 10%, or 1 1 to 20% by molarity. In certain cases, the multichromophore is a conjugated polymer comprising 5 or more repeat units.

Any convenient chemoselective functional groups may be included in the subject multichromophores (e.g., at the -Z -Z 2 and/or in the G 1 or G 2 terminal groups, including, but are not limited to, carboxylic acid, active ester (e.g., NHS or sulfo-NHS ester), amino, hydroxyl, thiol, maleimide, iodoacetyl, hydrazido, hydrazino, aldehyde, ketone, azido, alkyne, phosphine and epoxide. It is understood that in the polymeric tandem dye structures described herein, in some cases, the groups Z 1 and Z 2 appear at a equivalent position in the structure where these groups can be used interchangeably to refer to either a linked signaling chromophore or a chemoselective functional group that is capable of subsequent conjugation to a convenient chromophore precursor to produce the linked signaling chromophore.

In some cases, the signaling chromophore is a fluorophore. In certain cases, the signaling chromophore is a quencher. Any convenient fluorescent dyes may be utilized in the polymeric tandem dyes as an acceptor chromophore. The terms "fluorescent dye" and "fluorophore" are used interchangeably herein. The signaling chromophore (Z 1 ) can be a dye molecule selected from a rhodamine, a coumarin, a xanthene, a cyanine, a polymethine, a pyrene, a dipyrromethene borondifluoride, a napthalimide, a

phycobiliprotein, a peridinum chlorophyll protein, conjugates thereof, and combinations thereof. In certain embodiments, the signaling chromophore (Z 1 ) is a cyanine dye, a xanthene dye, a coumarin dye, a thiazine dye and an acridine dye. In some instances, the signaling chromophore (Z 1 ) is selected from DY 431 , DY 485XL, DY 500XL, DY 610, DY 640, DY 654, DY 682, DY 700, DY 701 , DY 704, DY 730, DY 731 , DY 732, DY 734, DY 752, DY 778, DY 782, DY 800, DY 831 , Biotium CF 555, Cy 3.5 and diethylamino coumarin. In some embodiments, the acceptor chromophore is a cyanine dye, a xanthene dye, a coumarin dye, a thiazine dye or an acridine dye. Fluorescent dyes of interest include, but are not limited to, fluorescein, 6-FAM, rhodamine, Texas Red, tetramethylrhodamine, carboxyrhodamine, carboxyrhodamine 6G, carboxyrhodol, carboxyrhodamine 110, Cascade Blue, Cascade Yellow, coumarin, Cy2, Cy3, Cy3.5, Cy5, Cy5.5, Cy-Chrome, phycoerythrin, PerCP (peridinin chlorophyll-a Protein), PerCP- Cy5.5, JOE (6-carboxy-4',5'-dichloro-2',7'-dimethoxyfluorescein), NED, ROX (5-(and-6)- carboxy-X-rhodamine), HEX, Lucifer Yellow, Marina Blue, Oregon Green 488, Oregon Green 500, Oregon Green 514, Alexa Fluor 350, Alexa Fluor 430, Alexa Fluor 488, Alexa Fluor 532, Alexa Fluor 546, Alexa Fluor 568, Alexa Fluor 594, Alexa Fluor 633, Alexa Fluor 647, Alexa Fluor 660, Alexa Fluor 680, Alexa Fluor 700, 7-amino-4- methylcoumarin-3-acetic acid, BODIPY FL, BODIPY FL-Br.sub.2, BODIPY 530/550, BODIPY 558/568, BODIPY 564/570, BODIPY 576/589, BODIPY 581/591 , BODIPY 630/650, BODIPY 650/665, BODIPY R6G, BODIPY TMR, BODIPY TR, conjugates thereof, and combinations thereof. Lanthanide chelates of interest include, but are not limited to, europium chelates, terbium chelates and samarium chelates. In some embodiments, the polymeric tandem dye includes a polymeric dye linked to an acceptor fluorophore selected from Cy3, Cy3.5, Cy5 Cy5.5, Cy7, Alexa488, Alexa 647 and Alexa700. In certain embodiments, the polymeric tandem dye includes a polymeric dye linked to an acceptor fluorophore selected from Dyomics dyes (such as DY 431 , DY 485XL, DY 500XL, DY 530, DY 610, DY 633, DY 640, DY 651 , DY 654, DY 682, DY 700, DY 701 , DY 704, DY 730, DY 731 , DY 732, DY 734, DY 752, DY 754, DY 778, DY 782, DY 800 or DY 831), Biotium CF 555, Cy 3.5, and diethylamino coumarin.

In some embodiments, the signaling chromophore that is selected has an emission maximum wavelength in the range of 300 to 900 nm, such as 350 to 850 nm, 350 to 600 nm, 360 to 500 nm, 370 to 500 nm, 380 to 500 nm, 390 to 500 nm or 400 to 500 nm, where specific examples of emission maxima of signaling chromophore of interest include, but are not limited to: 395 nm ± 5nm, 420nm ± 5nm, 430nm ± 5nm, 440nm ± 5nm, 450nm ± 5nm, 460nm ± 5nm, 470nm ± 5nm, 480nm ± 5nm, 490nm ± 5nm, 500nm ± 5nm, 510nm ± 5nm, 520nm ± 5nm, 530nm ± 5nm, 540nm ± 5nm, 550nm ± 5nm, 560nm ± 5nm, 570nm ± 5nm, 580nm ± 5nm, 590nm ± 5nm, 605nm ± 5nm, 650nm ± 5nm, 680nm ± 5nm, 700nm ± 5nm, 805nm ± 5nm.

End Groups

Any convenient end groups (e.g., G 1 and G 2 ) may be utilized at the terminals of the subject multichromophores. As used herein, the terms "end group" and "terminal group" are used interchangeably to refer to the groups located at the terminals of the polymeric structure of the multichromophore, e.g., as described herein. G 1 and G 2 groups of interest include, but are not limited to a terminal capping group, a π conjugated segment, a linker and a linked specific binding member. In some embodiments, a terminal capping groups is a monovalent group which is conjugated to the backbone of the multichromophore after polymerization. In certain instances, the terminal capping group is an aryl, a substituted aryl, a heteroaryl, a substituted heteroaryl, an alkyl or a substituted alkyl. In some cases, the terminal co-monomer is directed linked to a chemoselective tag or linker. In certain cases, the terminal capping group is derived from a monomer used in the method of polymerization, e.g., a terminal group such as a halogen (e.g., Br), a boronic acid or a boronic ester, which is capable of undergoing further conjugation. In some instances, G 1 and/or G 2 is a π conjugated segment. As used herein, a π conjugated segment refers to any convenient segment of a conjugated polymer to which the multichromophore may be conjugated, i.e., allowing derealization of pi electron across adjacent units. In certain embodiments, G 1 and/or G 2 is a linker, such as a linker including a functional gro itable for conjugation to a specific binding moiety. It is understood that linkers located at the G 1 and/or G 2 positions of the multichromophore may be selected so as to be orthogonal to any other linkers including chemoselective tags (e.g., as described herein) that may be present at a sidechain of the multichromophore (e.g., at Z 2 ). In certain embodiments, an amino functional group or derivative thereof is included at G 1 and/or G 2 and a carboxylic acid functional group or derivative thereof is included at Z 2 . In certain embodiments, a carboxylic acid functional group or derivative thereof is included at G 1 and/or G 2 and an amino functional group or derivative thereof is included at Z 2 .

In some embodiments of the formulae described herein, at least one of G 1 and G 2 is -L 3 -Z 4 where L 3 is a linker (e.g., as described herein) and Z 4 is a specific binding member (e.g., as described herein). In some embodiments of formulae described herein, at least one of G 1 and G 2 is -L 3 -Z 3 where L 3 is a linker (e.g., as described herein) and Z 3 is a chemoselective tag (e.g., as described herein). Any convenient chemoselective tag and conjugation chemistries can be adapted for use in the subject multichromophores. Chemoselective tags of interest include, but are not limited to, amine, active ester, maleimide, thiol, sulfur(VI) fluoride exchange chemistry (SuFEX), sulfonyl fluoride, Diers Alder cycloaddition click reagents and click chemistry, tetrazine, transcyclooctene, aldehyde, alkoxylamine, alkynes, cyclooctynes, azide, and the like. In some instances, Z 3 is selected from the group consisting of carboxylic acid, active ester (e.g., N-hydroxy succinimidyl ester (NHS) or sulfo-NHS), amino, maleimide, iodoacetyl and thiol. In certain embodiments of formulae described herein, at least one of G 1 and G 2 is described by the following structure:

where Ar is a π-conjugated aryl group, L is a linker and Z is a chemoselective tag or a specific binding member. In some cases, the L-Z group can be connected directed to a terminal co-monomer. In certain embodiments of formulae described herein, at least one of G 1 and G 2 is described b the following structure:

wherein:

q is 0 or an integer from 1-12; L is an optional linker; and

Z is a chemoselective tag or a specific binding member.

In certain embodiments, Z is a biomolecule. Biomolecules of interest include, but are not limited to, polypeptides, polynucleotides, carbohydrates, fatty acids, steroids, purines, pyrimidines, derivatives, structural analogs thereof and combinations thereof. In certain instances, Z is an antibody. In some instances, Z is an antibody fragment or binding derivative thereof. In some cases, the antibody fragment or binding derivative thereof is selected from the group consisting of a Fab fragment, a F(ab') 2 fragment, a scFv, a diabody and a triabody.

It is understood that for any of the structures and formula depicted herein that in some cases of the subject multichromophore the end groups depicted may be located at the opposite ends to those shown, e.g., the end groups G 1 and -Ph-L-Z may be switched. In some embodiments of the multichromophores described herein (e.g., formulae (II) to (VI)), at least one of G 1 and G 2 is selected from one of the following structures 1-33:

*=site for covalent attachment to unsaturated backbone;

wherein R' is independently H, halogen, C r C 12 alkyl, (CrC 12 alkyl)NH 2 , C 2 -C 12 alkene, C 2 -C 12 alkyne, C 3 -C 12 cycloalkyl, C 1 -C 12 haloalkyl, C 2 -C 18 (hetero)aryl, C 2 - C 18 (hetero)arylamino,— [CH 2 — CH 2 ] r' — Z\ or ( C 1 - C 12 )alkoxy-X 1 ; and wherein Z 1 is— OH or— COOH; X 1 is— NH 2 ,— NHCOOH,— NHCOOC(CH 3 ) 3 ,— NHCO(C3- C12)cycloalkyl(C1-C4)alkyl-N-maleimide; or— NHCO[CH 2 — CH 2 — 0] s 'CH 2 ) s .NH 2 ; r' is an integer from 1 to 20; and each s' is independently an integer from 1 to 20,

(CH 2 ) 3 (OCH 2 CH 2 ) x ''CH 3 where x" is independently an integer from 0 to 50, or a benzyl optionally substituted with one or more halogen, hydroxyl, C r C 12 alkoxy, or

(OCH 2 CH 2 ) y ''H 3 where each y" is independently an integer from 0 to 50 and R' is different from R;

wherein k is 2, 4, 8, 12 or 24; wherein R 15 is selected from the group consisting of l-u having the structure:

*=site for covalent attachment to backbone.

In some embodiments of the multichromophores described herein (e.g., formulae (V)-(XVI), at least one end group (e.g., T 2 -Z 2 , G 1 , G 2 , -L-Z , -L 3 -Z 3 ) , or sidechain group, is selected from one of the following structures:

wherein r is 0 or an integer from 1-50; k is 0 or an integer from 1-50 (e.g., 1-20); R 1 is as defined for any of the fluorene co-monomers described herein; and R 16 is selected from H, OH, NH 2 , -NH(CH 2 )r-NH 2 , and -NH(CH 2 ) r COOH. In certain instances, r is 1 to 20, such as 3 to 20, 3 to 15, 3 to 12, or 6 to 12. In certain cases, r is 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 or 12. In some cases, r is 3. In some cases, r is 4. In some cases, r is 5. In some cases, r is 6. In some cases, r is 7. In some cases, r is 8. In some cases, r is 9. In some cases, r is 10. In some cases, r is 1 1.

In some embodiments, the multichromophore includes one or more of the following groups, e.g., as an end group or sidechain group for conjugation to a com atible functional group on another molecule:

Labelled Specific Binding Members Aspects of the present disclosure include labelled specific binding members. A labelled specific binding member is a conjugate of a subject polymeric dye (e.g., as described herein) and a specific binding member. Any of the polymeric dyes or polymeric tandem dyes described herein may be conjugated to a specific binding member. The specific binding member and the polymeric dye can be conjugated (e.g., covalently linked) to each other at any convenient locations of the two molecules, via an optional linker.

In some embodiments, the labelled specific binding member is aggregation resistant. As used herein, by "aggregation-resistant" is meant a labelled specific binding member capable of forming a homogenous aqueous composition without aggregated precipitate at a concentration of 1 mg/ml or more in an aqueous buffer of interest, such as 2mg/ml or more, 3mg/ml or more, 4mg/ml or more, 5mg/ml or more, 6mg/ml or more, 7mg/ml or more, 8mg/ml or more, 9mg/ml or more, 10mg/ml_ or more or even more of the labelled specific binding member. In certain embodiments, the aggregation-resistant labelled specific binding member comprises: a water soluble light harvesting

multichromophore comprising a con ugated segment having the structure of formula (I):

(I)

wherein:

F 1 is a fused tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a water soluble group (WSG); M 1 is an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

* denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group;

wherein at least one of F 1 and M 1 is substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6 or more monomeric units; and

a specific binding member covalently linked to the multichromophore.

In certain embodiments, the aggregation-resistant labelled specific binding member comprises: a water soluble light harvesting multichromophore comprising a conjugated segment having the structure of formula (I):

(I)

wherein:

F 1 is a fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6-30 monomeric units (e.g., 10-20 units, 12-16 units, etc);

M 1 is an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

* denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group; and

a specific binding member covalently linked to the multichromophore.

The branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) can be capable of imparting solubility in water in excess of 1 mg/mL to the labelled specific binding member, such as in excess of 2 mg/mL, in excess of 3 mg/mL, in excess of 4 mg/mL, in excess of 5 mg/mL, in excess of 6 mg/mL, in excess of 7 mg/mL, in excess of 8 mg/mL, in excess of 9 mg/mL or in excess of 10 mg/mL. In certain cases, the branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) is capable of imparting solubility in water (e.g., an aqueous buffer) of 10 mg/mL or more to the polymeric dye, such as 20 mg/mL or more, 30 mg/mL or more, 40 mg/mL or more, 50 mg/mL or more, 60 mg/mL or more, 70 mg/mL or more, 80 mg/mL or more, 90 mg/mL or more, 100 mg/mL or more, or even more to the polymeric dye.

As used herein, the term "specific binding member" refers to one member of a pair of molecules which have binding specificity for one another. One member of the pair of molecules may have an area on its surface, or a cavity, which specifically binds to an area on the surface of, or a cavity in, the other member of the pair of molecules. Thus the members of the pair have the property of binding specifically to each other to produce a binding complex. In some embodiments, the affinity between specific binding members in a binding complex is characterized by a K d (dissociation constant) of 10 -6 M or less, such as 10 -7 M or less, including 10 -8 M or less, e.g., 10 -9 M or less, 10 -10 M or less, 10 -11 M or less, 10 -12 M or less, 10 -13 M or less, 10 -14 M or less, including 10 -15 M or less. In some embodiments, the specific binding members specifically bind with high avidity. By high avidity is meant that the binding member specifically binds with an apparent affinity characterized by an apparent K d of 10 x 10 M or less, such as 1x 10 M or less, 3 x 10 -10 M or less, 1 x 10 -10 M or less, 3 x 10 -11 M or less, 1 x 10 -11 M or less, 3 x 10 -12 M or less or 1 x 10 -12 M or less.

The specific binding member can be proteinaceous. As used herein, the term "proteinaceous" refers to a moiety that is composed of amino acid residues. A

proteinaceous moiety can be a polypeptide. In certain cases, the proteinaceous specific binding member is an antibody. In certain embodiments, the proteinaceous specific binding member is an antibody fragment, e.g., a binding fragment of an antibody that specific binds to a polymeric dye. As used herein, the terms "antibody" and "antibody molecule" are used interchangeably and refer to a protein consisting of one or more polypeptides substantially encoded by all or part of the recognized immunoglobulin genes. The recognized immunoglobulin genes, for example in humans, include the kappa (k), lambda (I), and heavy chain genetic loci, which together comprise the myriad variable region genes, and the constant region genes mu (u), delta (d), gamma (g), sigma (e), and alpha (a) which encode the IgM, IgD, IgG, IgE, and IgA isotypes respectively. An immunoglobulin light or heavy chain variable region consists of a "framework" region (FR) interrupted by three hypervariable regions, also called

"complementarity determining regions" or "CDRs". The extent of the framework region and CDRs have been precisely defined (see, "Sequences of Proteins of Immunological Interest," E. Kabat et al., U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (1991)). The numbering of all antibody amino acid sequences discussed herein conforms to the Kabat system. The sequences of the framework regions of different light or heavy chains are relatively conserved within a species. The framework region of an antibody, that is the combined framework regions of the constituent light and heavy chains, serves to position and align the CDRs. The CDRs are primarily responsible for binding to an epitope of an antigen. The term antibody is meant to include full length antibodies and may refer to a natural antibody from any organism, an engineered antibody, or an antibody generated recombinantly for experimental, therapeutic, or other purposes as further defined below.

Antibody fragments of interest include, but are not limited to, Fab, Fab', F(ab')2, Fv, scFv, or other antigen-binding subsequences of antibodies, either produced by the modification of whole antibodies or those synthesized de novo using recombinant DNA technologies. Antibodies may be monoclonal or polyclonal and may have other specific activities on cells (e.g., antagonists, agonists, neutralizing, inhibitory, or stimulatory antibodies). It is understood that the antibodies may have additional conservative amino acid substitutions which have substantially no effect on antigen binding or other antibody functions.

In certain embodiments, the specific binding member is a Fab fragment, a F(ab') 2 fragment, a scFv, a diabody or a triabody. In certain embodiments, the specific binding member is an antibody. In some cases, the specific binding member is a murine antibody or binding fragment thereof. In certain instances, the specific binding member is a recombinant antibody or binding fragment thereof.

In some embodiments, the labelled specific binding member includes: a water solvated light harvesting multichromophore (e.g., as described herein); and a signaling chromophore covalently linked to the multichromophore in energy-receiving proximity therewith (e.g., as described herein); and a specific binding member covalently linked to the multichromophore. In some instances of the labelled specific binding member, the multichromophore of any of the formula described herein (e.g., formulae (V) and (VII)- (VIII)), wherein: G 1 and G 2 are each independently selected from the group consisting of a terminal group (e.g., end group), a π conjugated segment, a linker and a linked specific binding member, wherein at least one of G 1 and G 2 is a linked specific binding member.

M ETHODS

As summarized above, aspects of the invention include methods of evaluating a sample for the presence of a target analyte. Aspects of the method include contacting the sample with a polymeric dye conjugate that specifically binds the target analyte to produce a labelling composition contacted sample. As used herein, the terms "polymeric dye conjugate" and "labelled specific binding member" are used interchangeably. As such, the polymeric dye conjugate can include: (i) a water solvated polymeric dye (e.g., as described herein); and (ii) a specific binding member (e.g., as described herein). In some instances, the polymeric dye conjugate further comprises a signaling chromophore covalently linked to a multichromophore of the polymeric dye in energy-receiving proximity therewith.

Any convenient method may be used to contact the sample with a polymeric dye conjugate that specifically binds to the target analyte to produce the labelling

composition contacted sample. In some instances, the sample is contacted with the polymeric dye conjugate under conditions in which the specific binding member specifically binds to the target analyte, if present. For specific binding of the specific binding member of the conjugate with the target analyte, an appropriate solution may be used that maintains the biological activity of the components of the sample and the specific binding member. The solution may be a balanced salt solution, e.g., normal saline, PBS, Hank's balanced salt solution, etc., conveniently supplemented with fetal calf serum, human platelet lysate or other factors, in conjunction with an acceptable buffer at low concentration, such as from 5-25 mM. Convenient buffers include HEPES, phosphate buffers, lactate buffers, etc. Various media are commercially available and may be used according to the nature of the target analyte, including dMEM, HBSS, dPBS, RPMI, Iscove's medium, etc., in some cases supplemented with fetal calf serum or human platelet lysate. The final components of the solution may be selected depending on the components of the sample which are included.

The temperature at which specific binding of the specific binding member of the conjugate to the target analyte takes place may vary, and in some instances may range from 5° C to 50° C, such as from 10° C to 40° C, 15° C to 40° C, 20° C to 40° C, e.g., 20 0 C, 25 ° C, 30 ° C, 35 ° C or 37 ° C (e.g., as described above). In some instances, the temperature at which specific binding takes place is selected to be compatible with the biological activity of the specific binding member and/or the target analyte. In certain instances, the temperature is 25° C, 30° C, 35° C or 37° C. In certain cases, the specific binding member is an antibody or fragment thereof and the temperature at which specific binding takes place is room temperature (e.g., 25° C), 30° C, 35° C or 37° C. Any convenient incubation time for specific binding may be selected to allow for the formation of a desirable amount of binding complex, and in some instances, may be 1 minute (min) or more, such as 2 min or more, 10 min or more, 30 min or more, 1 hour or more, 2 hours or more, or even 6 hours or more.

Any convenient specific binding members may be utilized in the conjugate.

Specific binding members of interest include, but are not limited to, those agents that specifically bind cell surface proteins of a variety of cell types, including but not limited to, stem cells, e.g., pluripotent stem cells, hematopoietic stem cells, T cells, T regulator cells, dendritic cells, B Cells, e.g., memory B cells, antigen specific B cells, granulocytes, leukemia cells, lymphoma cells, virus cells (e.g., HIV cells) NK cells, macrophages, monocytes, fibroblasts, epithelial cells, endothelial cells, and erythroid cells. Target cells of interest include cells that have a convenient cell surface marker or antigen that may be captured by a convenient specific binding member conjugate. In some embodiments, the target cell is selected from HIV containing cell, a Treg cell, an antigen-specific T -cell populations, tumor cells or hematopoetic progenitor cells (CD34+) from whole blood, bone marrow or cord blood. Any convenient cell surface proteins or cell markers may be targeted for specific binding to polymeric dye conjugates in the subject methods. In some embodiments, the target cell includes a cell surface marker selected from a cell receptor and a cell surface antigen. In some cases, the target cell may include a cell surface antigen such as CD11 b, CD123, CD14, CD15, CD16, CD19, CD193, CD2, CD25, CD27, CD3, CD335, CD36, CD4, CD43, CD45RO, CD56, CD61 , CD7, CD8, CD34, CD1c, CD23, CD304, CD235a, T cell receptor alpha/beta, T cell receptor gamma/delta, CD253, CD95, CD20, CD105, CD1 17, CD120b, Notch4, Lgr5 (N- Terminal), SSEA-3, TRA-1-60 Antigen, Disialoganglioside GD2 and CD71.

Any convenient targets may be selected for evaluation utilizing the subject methods. Targets of interest include, but are not limited to, a nucleic acid, such as an RNA, DNA, PNA, CNA, HNA, LNA or ANA molecule, a protein, such as a fusion protein, a modified protein, such as a phosphorylated, glycosylated, ubiquitinated, SUMOylated, or acetylated protein, or an antibody, a peptide, an aggregated biomolecule, a cell, a small molecule, a vitamin and a drug molecule. As used herein, the term "a target protein" refers to all members of the target family, and fragments thereof. The target protein may be any protein of interest, such as a therapeutic or diagnostic target, including but not limited to: hormones, growth factors, receptors, enzymes, cytokines, osteoinductive factors, colony stimulating factors and immunoglobulins. The term "target protein" is intended to include recombinant and synthetic molecules, which can be prepared using any convenient recombinant expression methods or using any convenient synthetic methods, or purchased commercially. In some embodiments, the polymeric dye conjugates include an antibody or antibody fragment. Any convenient target analyte that specifically binds an antibody or antibody fragment of interest may be targeted in the subject methods.

In some embodiments, the target analyte is associated with a cell. In certain instances, the target analyte is a cell surface marker of the cell. In certain cases, the cell surface marker is selected from the group consisting of a cell receptor and a cell surface antigen. In some instances, the target analyte is an intracellular target, and the method further includes lysing the cell.

In some embodiments, the sample may include a heterogeneous cell population from which target cells are isolated. In some instances, the sample includes peripheral whole blood, peripheral whole blood in which erythrocytes have been lysed prior to cell isolation, cord blood, bone marrow, density gradient-purified peripheral blood mononuclear cells or homogenized tissue. In some cases, the sample includes hematopoetic progenitor cells (e.g., CD34+ cells) in whole blood, bone marrow or cord blood. In certain embodiments, the sample includes tumor cells in peripheral blood. In certain instances, the sample is a sample including (or suspected of including) viral cells (e.g., HIV).

The labelled specific binding members find use in the subject methods, e.g., for labeling a target cell, particle, target or analyte with a polymeric dye or polymeric tandem dye. For example, labelled specific binding members find use in labeling cells to be processed (e.g., detected, analyzed, and/or sorted) in a flow cytometer. The labelled specific binding members may include antibodies that specifically bind to, e.g., cell surface proteins of a variety of cell types (e.g., as described herein). The labelled specific binding members may be used to investigate a variety of biological (e.g., cellular) properties or processes such as cell cycle, cell proliferation, cell differentiation, DNA repair, T cell signaling, apoptosis, cell surface protein expression and/or presentation, and so forth. Labelled specific binding members may be used in any application that includes (or may include) antibody-mediated labeling of a cell, particle or analyte.

In some instances of the method, the labelled specific binding member includes a multichromophore as described herein (eg., according to any one of formulae (l)-(IV)). In certain cases, G 1 and G 2 are each independently selected from the group consisting of a terminal group, a π conjugated segment, a linker and a linked specific binding member, wherein at least one of G 1 and G 2 is a linked specific binding member.

Aspects of the method include assaying the labelling composition contacted sample for the presence of a polymeric dye conjugate-target analyte binding complex to evaluate whether the target analyte is present in the sample. Once the sample has been contacted with the polymeric dye conjugate, any convenient methods may be utilized in assaying the labelling composition contacted sample that is produced for the presence of a polymeric dye conjugate-target analyte binding complex. The polymeric dye conjugate-target analyte binding complex is the binding complex that is produced upon specific binding of the specific binding member of the conjugate to the target analyte, if present. Assaying the labelling composition contacted sample can include detecting a fluorescent signal from the binding complex, if present. In some cases, the assaying includes a separating step where the target analyte, if present, is separated from the sample. A variety of methods can be utilized to separate a target analyte from a sample, e.g., via immobilization on a support. Assay methods of interest include, but are not limited to, any convenient methods and assay formats where pairs of specific binding members such as avidin- biotin or hapten-anti-hapten antibodies find use, are of interest. Methods and assay formats of interest that may be adapted for use with the subject compositions include, but are not limited to, flow cytometry methods, in-situ hybridization methods, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), western blot analysis, magnetic cell separation assays and fluorochrome purification chromatography.

In certain embodiments, the method further includes contacting the sample with a second specific binding member that specifically binds the target analyte. In certain instances, the second specific binding member is support bound. Any convenient supports may be utilized to immobilize a component of the subject methods (e.g., a second specific binding member). In certain instances, the support is a particle, such as a magnetic particle. In some instances, the second specific binding member and the polymeric dye conjugate produce a sandwich complex that may be isolated and detected, if present, using any convenient methods. In some embodiments, the method further includes flow cytometrically analyzing the polymeric dye conjugate-target analyte binding complex, i.e., a fluorescently labelled target analyte. Assaying for the presence of a polymeric dye conjugate-target analyte binding complex may provide assay results (e.g., qualitative or quantitative assay data) which can be used to evaluate whether the target analyte is present in the sample.

Any convenient supports may be utilized in the subject methods to immobilize any convenient component of the methods, e.g., labelled specific binding member, target, secondary specific binding member, etc. Supports of interest include, but are not limited to: solid substrates, where the substrate can have a variety of configurations, e.g., a sheet, bead, or other structure, such as a plate with wells; beads, polymers, particle, a fibrous mesh, hydrogels, porous matrix, a pin, a microarray surface, a chromatography support, and the like. In some instances, the support is selected from the group consisting of a particle, a planar solid substrate, a fibrous mesh, a hydrogel, a porous matrix, a pin, a microarray surface and a chromatography support. The support may be incorporated into a system that it provides for cell isolation assisted by any convenient methods, such as a manually-operated syringe, a centrifuge or an automated liquid handling system. In some cases, the support finds use in an automated liquid handling system for the high throughput isolation of cells, such as a flow cytometer. In some embodiments of the method, the separating step includes applying an external magnetic field to immobilize a magnetic particle. Any convenient magnet may be used as a source of the external magnetic field (e.g., magnetic field gradient). In some cases, the external magnetic field is generated by a magnetic source, e.g. by a permanent magnet or electromagnet. In some cases, immobilizing the magnetic particles means the magnetic particles accumulate near the surface closest to the magnetic field gradient source, i.e. the magnet.

The separating may further include one or more optional washing steps to remove unbound material of the sample from the support. Any convenient washing methods may be used, e.g., washing the immobilized support with a biocompatible buffer which preserves the specific binding interaction of the polymeric dye and the specific binding member. Separation and optional washing of unbound material of the sample from the support provides for an enriched population of target cells where undesired cells and material may be removed.

In certain embodiments, the method further includes detecting the labelled target.

Detecting the labelled target may include exciting the multichromophore with one or more lasers and subsequently detecting fluorescence emission from the polymeric tandem dye using one or more optical detectors. Detection of the labelled target can be performed using any convenient instruments and methods, including but not limited to, flow cytometry, FACS systems, fluorescence microscopy; fluorescence, luminescence, ultraviolet, and/or visible light detection using a plate reader; high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC); and mass spectrometry. When using fluorescently labeled components in the methods and compositions of the present disclosure, it is recognized that different types of fluorescence detection systems can be used to practice the subject methods. In some cases, high throughput screening can be performed, e.g., systems that use 96 well or greater microtiter plates. A variety of methods of performing assays on fluorescent materials can be utilized, such as those methods described in, e.g., Lakowicz, J. R., Principles of Fluorescence Spectroscopy, New York: Plenum Press (1983); Herman, B., Resonance energy transfer microscopy, in: Fluorescence

Microscopy of Living Cells in Culture, Part B, Methods in Cell Biology, vol. 30, ed. Taylor, D. L. & Wang, Y.-L, San Diego: Academic Press (1989), pp. 219-243; Turro, N.J., Modern Molecular Photochemistry, Menlo Park: Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Col, Inc. (1978), pp. 296-361. Fluorescence in a sample can be measured using a fluorimeter. In some cases, excitation radiation, from an excitation source having a first wavelength, passes through excitation optics. The excitation optics cause the excitation radiation to excite the sample. In response, fluorescently labelled targets in the sample emit radiation which has a wavelength that is different from the excitation wavelength. Collection optics then collect the emission from the sample. The device can include a temperature controller to maintain the sample at a specific temperature while it is being scanned. In certain instances, a multi-axis translation stage moves a microtiter plate holding a plurality of samples in order to position different wells to be exposed. The multi-axis translation stage, temperature controller, auto-focusing feature, and electronics associated with imaging and data collection can be managed by an appropriately programmed digital computer. The computer also can transform the data collected during the assay into another format for presentation.

In some embodiments, the method of evaluating a sample for the presence of a target analyte further includes detecting fluorescence in a flow cytometer. In some embodiments, the method of evaluating a sample for the presence of a target analyte further includes imaging the labelling composition contacted sample using fluorescence microscopy. Fluorescence microscopy imaging can be used to identify a polymeric dye conjugate-target analyte binding complex in the contacted sample to evaluate whether the target analyte is present. Microscopy methods of interest that find use in the subject methods include laser scanning confocal microscopy.

Also provided are methods of labelling a target molecule. The subject polymeric dyes, find use in a variety of methods of labelling, separation, detection and/or analysis. In some embodiments, the method includes: contacting the target molecule with a polymeric dye (e.g. , as described herein) to produce a labelled target molecule, wherein the polymeric dye includes a conjugation tag that covalently links to the target molecule. In some cases, the polymeric dye further includes a signaling chromophore covalently linked to the multichromophore of the polymeric dye in energy-receiving proximity therewith. In some instances of the method, the polymeric dye member includes a multichromophore according to any one of formulae (l)-(IV) (e.g. , as described herein), where one of G 1 and G 2 is a terminal group and the other of G 1 and G 2 is the conjugation tag.

As used herein the term "conjugation tag" refers to a group that includes a chemoselective functional group (e.g. , as described herein) that can covalently link with a compatible functional group of a target molecule, after optional activation and/or deprotection. Any convenient conjugation tags may be utilized in the subject polymeric dyes in order to conjugate the dye to a target molecule of interest. In some

embodiments, the conjugation tag includes a terminal functional group selected from an amino, a carboxylic acid or a derivative thereof, a thiol, a hydroxyl, a hydrazine, a hydrazide, a azide, an alkyne and a protein reactive group (e.g. amino-reactive, thiol- reactive, hydroxyl- reactive, imidazolyl-reactive or guanidinyl-reactive).

Any convenient methods and reagent may be adapted for use in the subject labelling methods in order to covalently link the conjugation tag to the target molecule. Methods of interest for labelling a target, include but are not limited to, those methods and reagents described by Hermanson, Bioconjugate Techniques, Third edition, Academic Press, 2013. The contacting step may be performed in an aqueous solution. In some instances, the conjugation tag includes an amino functional group and the target molecule includes an activated ester functional group, such as a NHS ester or sulfo-NHS ester, or vice versa. In certain instances, the conjugation tag includes a maleimide functional group and the target molecule includes a thiol functional group, or vice versa. In certain instances, the conjugation tag includes an alkyne (e.g., a cyclooctyne group) functional group and the target molecule includes an azide functional group, or vice versa, which can be conjugated via Click chemistry.

Any convenient target molecules may be selected for labelling utilizing the subject methods. Target molecules of interest include, but are not limited to, a nucleic acid, such as an RNA, DNA, PNA, CNA, HNA, LNA or ANA molecule, a protein, such as a fusion protein, a modified protein, such as a phosphorylated, glycosylated,

ubiquitinated, SUMOylated, or acetylated protein, or an antibody, a peptide, an aggregated biomolecule, a cell, a small molecule, a vitamin and a drug molecule. As used herein, the term "a target protein" refers to all members of the target family, and fragments thereof. The target protein may be any protein of interest, such as a therapeutic or diagnostic target, including but not limited to: hormones, growth factors, receptors, enzymes, cytokines, osteoinductive factors, colony stimulating factors and immunoglobulins. The term "target protein" is intended to include recombinant and synthetic molecules, which can be prepared using any convenient recombinant expression methods or using any convenient synthetic methods, or purchased commercially. In some embodiments, the target molecule is a specific binding member (e.g., as described herein). In certain instances, the specific binding member is an antibody. In some instances, the specific binding member is an antibody fragment or binding derivative thereof. In some case, the antibody fragment or binding derivative thereof is selected from the group consisting of a Fab fragment, a F(ab') 2 fragment, a scFv, a diabody and a triabody.

In some cases, the method includes a separating step where the labelled target molecule is separated from the reaction mixture, e.g., excess reagents or unlabeled target. A variety of methods may be utilized to separate a target from a sample, e.g., via immobilization on a support, precipitation, chromatography, and the like.

In some instances, the method further includes detecting and/or analyzing the labelled target molecule. In some instances, the method further includes fluorescently detecting the labelled target molecule. Any convenient methods may be utilized to detect and/or analyze the labelled target molecule in conjunction with the subject methods and compositions. Methods of analyzing a target of interest that find use in the subject methods, include but are not limited to, flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy, in-situ hybridization, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), western blot analysis, magnetic cell separation assays and fluorochrome purification chromatography.

Detection methods of interest include but are not limited to fluorescence spectroscopy, fluorescence microscopy, nucleic acid sequencing, fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH), protein mass spectroscopy, flow cytometry, and the like.

Detection may be achieved directly via the polymeric dye or polymeric tandem dye, or indirectly by a secondary detection system. The latter may be based on any one or a combination of several different principles including, but not limited to, antibody labelled anti-species antibody and other forms of immunological or non-immunological bridging and signal amplification systems (e.g., biotin-streptavidin technology, protein-A and protein-G mediated technology, or nucleic acid probe/anti-nucleic acid probes, and the like). Suitable reporter molecules may be those known in the field of

immunocytochemistry, molecular biology, light, fluorescence, and electron microscopy, cell immunophenotyping, cell sorting, flow cytometry, cell visualization, detection, enumeration, and/or signal output quantification. More than one antibody of specific and/or non-specific nature might be labelled and used simultaneously or sequentially to enhance target detection, identification, and/or analysis. SYSTEMS

Aspects of the invention further include systems for use in practicing the subject methods and compositions. A sample analysis system can include sample field of view or a flow channel loaded with a sample and a labelled specific binding member. In some embodiments, the system is a flow cytometric system including: a flow cytometer including a flow path; a composition in the flow path, wherein the composition includes: a sample; and a labelled specific binding member (e.g., as described herein).

In some embodiments, the system for analyzing a sample is a fluorescence microscopy system, including: a fluorescence microscope comprising a sample field of view; and a composition disposed in the sample field of view, wherein the composition comprises a sample; and a labelled specific binding member (e.g., as described herein).

In some instances of the systems, the labelled specific binding member includes: a water solvated light harvesting multichromophore (e.g., as described herein) and a specific binding member that specifically binds a target analyte covalently linked to the multichromophore. In some cases, the labelled specific binding member further comprises a signaling chromophore covalently linked to the multichromophore of the polymeric dye in energy-receiving proximity therewith. In some instances of the subject systems, the labelled specific binding member, the multichromophore is described by any one of formulae (l)-(IV) (e.g., as described herein), wherein: G 1 and G 2 are each independently selected from the group consisting of a terminal group, a π conjugated segment, a linker and a linked specific binding member, wherein at least one of G 1 and G 2 is a linked specific binding member.

In certain embodiments of the systems, the composition further includes a second specific binding member that is support bound and specifically binds the target analyte. In some cases, the support includes a magnetic particle. As such, in certain instances, the system may also include a controllable external paramagnetic field configured for application to an assay region of the flow channel.

The sample may include a cell. In some instances, the sample is a cell- containing biological sample. In some instances, the sample includes a labelled specific binding member specifically bound to a target cell. In certain instances, the target analyte that is specifically bound by the specific binding member is a cell surface marker of the cell. In certain cases, the cell surface marker is selected from the group consisting of a cell receptor and a cell surface antigen. In certain aspects, the system may also include a light source configured to direct light to an assay region of the flow channel or sample field of view. The system may include a detector configured to receive a signal from an assay region of the flow channel or a sample field of view, wherein the signal is provided by the fluorescent composition. Optionally further, the sample analysis system may include one or more additional detectors and/or light sources for the detection of one or more additional signals.

In certain aspects, the system may further include computer-based systems configured to detect the presence of the fluorescent signal. A "computer-based system" refers to the hardware means, software means, and data storage means used to analyze the information of the present invention. The minimum hardware of the computer-based systems of the present invention includes a central processing unit (CPU), input means, output means, and data storage means. A skilled artisan can readily appreciate that any one of the currently available computer-based system are suitable for use in the subject systems. The data storage means may include any manufacture including a recording of the present information as described above, or a memory access means that can access such a manufacture.

To "record" data, programming or other information on a computer readable medium refers to a process for storing information, using any such methods as known in the art. Any convenient data storage structure may be chosen, based on the means used to access the stored information. A variety of data processor programs and formats can be used for storage, e.g. , word processing text file, database format, etc.

A "processor" references any hardware and/or software combination that will perform the functions required of it. For example, any processor herein may be a programmable digital microprocessor such as available in the form of an electronic controller, mainframe, server or personal computer (desktop or portable). Where the processor is programmable, suitable programming can be communicated from a remote location to the processor, or previously saved in a computer program product (such as a portable or fixed computer readable storage medium, whether magnetic, optical or solid state device based). For example, a magnetic medium or optical disk may carry the programming, and can be read by a suitable reader communicating with each processor at its corresponding station.

In addition to the sensor device and signal processing module, e.g., as described above, systems of the invention may include a number of additional components, such as data output devices, e.g., monitors and/or speakers, data input devices, e.g., interface ports, keyboards, etc., fluid handling components, power sources, etc.

In certain aspects, the system includes a flow cytometer. Flow cytometers of interest include, but are not limited, to those devices described in U.S. Patent Nos.: 4,704,891 ; 4,727,029; 4,745,285; 4,867,908; 5,342,790; 5,620,842; 5,627,037;

5,701 ,012; 5,895,922; and 6,287,791 ; the disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference.

Other systems may find use in practicing the subject methods. In certain aspects, the system may be a fluorimeter or microscope loaded with a sample having a fluorescent composition of any of the embodiments discussed herein. The fluorimeter or microscope may include a light source configured to direct light to the assay region of the flow channel or sample field of view. The fluorimeter or microscope may also include a detector configured to receive a signal from an assay region of the flow channel or field of view, wherein the signal is provided by the fluorescent composition.

KITS

Aspects of the invention further include kits for use in practicing the subject methods and compositions. The compositions of the invention can be included as reagents in kits either as starting materials or provided for use in, for example, the methodologies described above.

A kit can include a polymeric dye including a water solvated light harvesting multichromophore (e.g., as described herein) and a container. Any convenient containers can be utilized, such as tubes, bottles, or wells in a multi-well strip or plate, a box, a bag, an insulated container, and the like. The subject kits can further include one or more components selected from a polymeric tandem dye, a fluorophore, a specific binding member, a specific binding member conjugate, a support bound specific binding member, a cell, a support, a biocompatible aqueous elution buffer, and instructions for use. In some embodiments of the kit, the multichromophore is covalently linked to a specific binding member. In some instances, the specific binding member is an antibody. In certain instances, the specific binding member is an antibody fragment or binding derivative thereof. In certain cases, the antibody fragment or binding derivative thereof is selected from the group consisting of a Fab fragment, a F(ab')2 fragment, a scFv, a diabody and a triabody. In certain embodiments, the kit finds use in evaluating a sample for the presence of a target analyte, such as an intracellular target. As such, in some instances, the kit includes one or more components suitable for lysing cells. The one or more additional components of the kit may be provided in separate containers (e.g., separate tubes, bottles, or wells in a multi-well strip or plate).

In certain aspects, the kit further includes reagents for performing a flow cytometric assay. Reagents of interest include, but are not limited to, buffers for reconstitution and dilution, buffers for contacting a cell sample the multichromophore, wash buffers, control cells, control beads, fluorescent beads for flow cytometer calibration and combinations thereof. The kit may also include one or more cell fixing reagents such as paraformaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, methanol, acetone, formalin, or any combinations or buffers thereof. Further, the kit may include a cell permeabilizing reagent, such as methanol, acetone or a detergent (e.g., triton, NP-40, saponin, tween 20, digitonin, leucoperm, or any combinations or buffers thereof. Other protein transport inhibitors, cell fixing reagents and cell permeabilizing reagents familiar to the skilled artisan are within the scope of the subject kits.

The compositions of the kit may be provided in a liquid composition, such as any suitable buffer. Alternatively, the compositions of the kit may be provided in a dry composition (e.g., may be lyophilized), and the kit may optionally include one or more buffers for reconstituting the dry composition. In certain aspects, the kit may include aliquots of the compositions provided in separate containers (e.g., separate tubes, bottles, or wells in a multi-well strip or plate).

In addition, one or more components may be combined into a single container, e.g., a glass or plastic vial, tube or bottle. In certain instances, the kit may further include a container (e.g., such as a box, a bag, an insulated container, a bottle, tube, etc.) in which all of the components (and their separate containers) are present. The kit may further include packaging that is separate from or attached to the kit container and upon which is printed information about the kit, the components of the and/or instructions for use of the kit.

In addition to the above components, the subject kits may further include instructions for practicing the subject methods. These instructions may be present in the subject kits in a variety of forms, one or more of which may be present in the kit. One form in which these instructions may be present is as printed information on a suitable medium or substrate, e.g., a piece or pieces of paper on which the information is printed, in the packaging of the kit, in a package insert, etc. Yet another means would be a computer readable medium, e.g., diskette, CD, DVD, portable flash drive, etc., on which the information has been recorded. Yet another means that may be present is a website address which may be used via the Internet to access the information at a removed site. Any convenient means may be present in the kits.

UTILITY

The polymeric dyes, compositions, methods and systems as described herein may find use in a variety of applications, including diagnostic and research applications, in which the labelling, detection and/or analysis of a target of interest is desirable. Such applications include methodologies such as cytometry, microscopy, immunoassays (e.g. competitive or non-competitive), assessment of a free analyte, assessment of receptor bound ligand, and so forth. The compositions, system and methods described herein may be useful in analysis of any of a number of samples, including but not limited to, biological fluids, cell culture samples, and tissue samples. In certain aspects, the compositions, system and methods described herein may find use in methods where analytes are detected in a sample, if present, using fluorescent labels, such as in fluorescent activated cell sorting or analysis, immunoassays, immunostaining, and the like. In certain instances, the compositions and methods find use in applications where the evaluation of a sample for the presence of a target analyte is of interest.

In some cases, the methods and compositions find use in any assay format where the detection and/or analysis of a target from a sample is of interest, including but not limited to, flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy, in-situ hybridization, enzyme- linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), western blot analysis, magnetic cell separation assays and fluorochrome purification chromatography. In certain instances, the methods and compositions find use in any application where the fluorescent labelling of a target molecule is of interest. The subject compositions may be adapted for use in any convenient applications where pairs of specific binding members find use, such as biotin-streptavidin and hapten-anti-hapten antibody.

EXAMPLES

Example 1 : Design of water soluble conjugated polymers Co-monomers have been developed for water-soluble conjugated polymer dyes that provide to exceptional water-solubility, processing, and improved performance in flow cytometry for such dyes.

Multiple strategies are employed to increase the amount of water soluble side chains and reduce the number of hydrophobic groups to provide high purity and high reactivity of these monomers in a polymerization reaction that produces conjugated polymers. Additionally, for some monomers, a synthetic methodology is employed to improve the purity of the final product.

The subject water-soluble conjugated polymer dyes are used as fluorescent reporters for a variety of biosensors and exhibit exceptional brightness and a range of options for excitation and emission wavelength for Flow Cytometry, imaging, and other applications.

Conjugated polymer dyes can be very hydrophobic and prone to adopting planar, stackable conformations. A key step in implementing conjugated polymers as dyes in biosensing is bringing these structures into aqueous buffer solutions suitable for the biological target of interest. The subject conjugated polymers achieve water-solubility by chemically modifying the monomers that compromise the polymer to achieve high water solvation and improved water solubility. The subject water-soluble groups are covalently attached to co-monomers that form the polymer backbone. The resulting polymers are soluble due to the high degree of water-solubility of one or more of the co-monomers incorporated into the polymer. These higher solubility monomers are possible due to increased length of the water-solubility moiety, improved purification techniques that produce pure, highly reactive monomer, and/or a synthetic strategy that allows the key monomers to be obtained in high purity.

Requirements for water-solubility of a conjugated polymer dye for biosensing are high solubility in buffer solutions and low nonspecific binding within the assay of interest. In general, the solubility of the conjugate of the polymeric dye and the biosensing group (e.g. , antibody) are lower that the dye itself. This can occur when more than one binding site is available on either the conjugated polymer or the biosensing biomolecule, resulting in cross-linked higher molecular weight species with in some cases lower solubility and specificity that can be different than the intended synthetic target but inseparable from the desired material.

When solubility of the dye-biosensor conjugate becomes marginal, aggregation of the conjugate can occur. This aggregation can manifest itself as precipitation during the conjugation reaction, precipitation of the product upon standing, and ultimately unwanted species present in the bioassay that lead to a deterioration of data quality. The aggregation of polymeric species can be a persistent problem once it has begun and even with purification of such precipitation from the product the resulting conjugate could be unsuitable for downstream processes. The subject co-monomers, e.g., as shown in Figure 1 , can provide polymeric dye conjugates that avoid such aggregation problems. They are the product of several strategic elements. First, the length of the water-soluble oligoethylene glycol chains provides for high solubility. In some cases, this chain length is more that 1 1 repeat units, such as 12-16 repeats per chain. Second, in some structures, hydrophobic phenyl groups used for high WSG side chain branching are replaced with hydrophilic branching elements, such as amides, sulfonamides, and branched ethylene glycol linkages. In the case of the amide bonds, an additional strategic element exists.

Using the formation of the amide bond to attach the large water-solubilizing groups provides improved purification of the preceding synthetic steps. In particular, formation of the boronic ester group (used in polymerization) can result in product mixtures difficult to properly purify. This becomes even more difficult when the large polar water-solubilizing groups are installed first. By moving the attachment of the large water-solubilizing groups to a simple high yield reaction at the end of the scheme, the boronic ester precursors can be thoroughly purified in a straight-forward manner. This is in contrast to previous monomers that required the attachment of the ethylene glycol oligomers earlier in the synthesis. The resulting materials have greater solubility and are more reactive in polymerization reactions used to create the water-soluble conjugated polymer dyes. When these higher solubility monomers are incorporated into conjugated polymers, solution characteristics of the resulting antibody conjugates are improved.

An advantage of this design is the high solubility of the resulting polymeric dyes. Due to improvements in the solubilization strategy, the polymeric dyes are noticeably more soluble, have low viscosity and are easier to process. Conjugation yields are much higher and the resulting data is improved as well. By increasing the amount of water- soluble side chain and making changes to the linking strategy to the portion of the monomer that becomes part of the polymer backbone, significant improvements in solubility and the resulting dye characteristics are obtained. Antibody conjugates of the subject polymeric dyes, e.g., dyes which include long oligoethylene glycol side chains and which include non-aryl branching groups such as alkyl ether linkages, amide linkages or sulfonamide linkages are especially aggregation resistant.

Example 2: Synthesis of Conjugated Polymer via C-H Bond Arylation

The synthesis of the subject polymeric dyes can be achieved by a technique called C-H bond arylation (Scheme 1). Other methods such as a Suzuki coupling method (Scheme 2) or a Stille coupling method (Scheme 3) can also be utilized.

Scheme 1 : C-H Bond Arylation method

Scheme 2: Suzuki Coupling method

Scheme 3: Stille Coupling method

Notwithstanding the appended claims, the disclosure set forth herein is also defined by the following clauses:

Clause 1. A water soluble light harvesting multichromophore comprising a conjugated segment having the structure of formula I):

wherein:

F 1 is a fused tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a water soluble group (WSG); M 1 is an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

* denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group;

wherein at least one of F 1 and M 1 is substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6-50 (e.g., 6-40 or 6-30) monomeric units. In some

Clause 2. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to clause 1 , wherein

F 1 is a fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6-30 monomeric units;

M 1 is an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

* denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group;

wherein the branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) is capable of imparting solubility in water in excess of 50 mg/mL to the multichromophore.

Clause 3. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to clause 1 or 2, wherein the fused tricyclic co-monomer is described by the following structure: where:

Y is C(R 3 ) 2 , -C(R 3 ) 2 C(R 3 ) 2 -, -C(R 3 ) 2 Si(R 3 ) 2 -, NR 3 , Si(R 3 ) 2 or Se;

each Z is independently CH, CR or N, wherein at least two of Z in each ring is CH or CR;

each R 3 is independently selected from H, alkyi, substituted alkyi, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, amido, substituted amido, an aralkyi, a substituted aralkyi, a PEG moiety, -L 1 -Z 1 , where L 1 is a linker and Z 1 is a chemoselective tag (e.g., a tag including a chemoselective functional group) and a WSG; and

each R is independently H or one or more aryl or heteroaryl substituents (e.g., WSG, halogen, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, alkyi or substituted alkyi) and wherein any two convenient R groups are optionally cyclically linked.

Clause 4. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to clause 3, wherein the fused tricyclic co-monomer is described by one of the following structures:

wherein:

each R 3 is independently selected from H, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, amido, substituted amido, an aralkyl, a substituted aralkyl, a PEG moiety, -L 1 -Z 1 , where L 1 is a linker and Z 1 is a chemoselective tag (e.g., a tag including a chemoselective functional group) and a WSG (e.g., as described herein).

Clause 5. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to clause

4, wherein at least one R 3 is a WSG.

Clause 6. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to clause

4 or 5, wherein at least one R 3 is -L 1 -Z 1 wherein L 1 is a linker and Z 1 is a chemoselective tag. Clause 7. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to any one of clauses 1-6, wherein F 1 has the structure:

wherein:

Z is -C(R 1 )(R 2 )-, -Si(R 1 )(R 2 )- or -N(R 1 )-; and

R 1 and R 2 are independently a branched non-ionic WSG comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6-30 monomeric units.

Clause 8. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to any one of clauses 1-7, wherein the branched non-ionic WSG has one of the following formulae:

wherein:

each B 1 and B 2 are independently a branching group;

each W 1 is independently a water soluble polymer comprising 6-24 monomeric units;

T 3 is an optional linker to the fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co-monomer; and

each p and q are independently 0 or 1 , wherein if present, each T 1 and each T 2 are independently a linker.

Clause 9. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to clause 8, wherein:

B 1 is selected from CH, N, C(=0)N, S0 2 N, a tri-substituted aryl group, a tetra- substituted aryl group, and a tri-substituted heteroaryl group; each p is 0 or 1 , wherein if present, each T 1 is selected from -(CH 2 ) n -0-, - (CH 2 ) n - and -0-, wherein n is from 1 to 6; and

T 2 is a C1-C6-alkyl linker wherein one or more atoms are optionally substituted with a heteroatom.

Clause 10. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to any one of clauses 1-9, wherein the branched non-ionic WSG is selected from one of the followin structures:

wherein:

T 5 is an optional linker to the fused 6-5-6 tricyclic co-monomer;

T 6 is a linker;

each s is an integer from 6 to 24; and

each R 11 is independently hydrogen, an alkyl or a substituted alkyl.

Clause 1 1. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to any one of clauses 1-10, wherein F 1 is selected from one of the following co-monomers:

Clause 12. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to any one of clauses 1-1 1 , wherein the multichromophore has the structure of formula (II):

wherein:

M 1 , M 2 and L 1 are independently an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

Z 1 is a linked chemoselective functional group or a linked acceptor chromophore; x and y represent % molarity of the units in the multichromophore; and

G 1 and G 2 are each independently selected from a terminal group, a π conjugated segment, a linker and a linked specific binding member.

Clause 13. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to any one of clauses 1-12, wherein the multichromophore has the structure of formula (III):

(III)

wherein:

F 1 is the fused tricyclic co-monomer;

M 1 , M 2 and L 1 are independently an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

Z 1 is a linked chemoselective functional group or a linked acceptor chromophore; each n is independently an integer from 1 to 10,000;

each m is 0 or independently an integer from 1 to 10,000;

p is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

G 1 and G 2 are each independently selected from a terminal group, a π conjugated segment, a linker and a linked specific binding member.

Clause 14. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to clause 13, wherein the mul

(IV).

Clause 15. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to clause 12-14, wherein L 1 is a fused tricyclic co-monomer substituted with Z 1 and a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG).

Clause 16. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to clause 15, wherein L 1 has the structure:

wherein: R 3 is a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG); and

R 4 is L 2 -Z 2 wherein L 2 is a linker and Z 2 is the chemoselective functional group or acceptor chromophore.

Clause 17. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to clause 15, wherein L 1 has the structure:

wherein:

R 3 is a non-ionic water soluble group (WSG);

R 4 is L 2 -Z 2 wherein L 2 is a linker and Z 2 is the chemoselective functional group or acceptor chromophore; and

each R is an optional substituent (e.g., a substituted alkyl) and wherein the two R groups can be optionally cyclically linked to form a carbocyclic or heterocyclic ring (e.g., a 7 membered heterocyclic ring).

Clause 18. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to clause 16 or 17, wherein L 1 has one of the following structures:

Clause 19. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to any one of clauses 1-18, wherein the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomers are independently selected from one of formulae (XXIII)-(XXVI):

wherein

Cy 2 .7 is an aryl or heteroaryl group comprising 2 to 7 fused and/or unfused rings;

Y 2 , Y 3 and Y 4 are independently selected from -CR 3 -, NR 3 , N, O, S and -C(=0)- and together form a 5 or 6 membered fused aryl or heteraryl ring;

each R 3 is one or more ring substituents independently selected from H, halogen, alkyi, substituted alkyi, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy substituted alkoxy and -T 1 -Z 1 ;

R 1 and R 2 are independently selected from H, halogen, alkyi, substituted alkyi, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy and -T 1 -Z 1 , or R 1 and R 2 together form a 5- or 6- membered fused aryl, heteroaryl ring, cycloalkyi or heterocycle which can be optionally substituted;

Y 5 is N or CR 5 and Y 7 is N or CR 7 ;

R 4 -R 7 are independently selected from H, halogen, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy and -T 1 -Z 1 ;

Z 1 is a chemoselective functional group or a linked signaling chromophore; and

T 1 is a linker.

Clause 20. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to clause 19, wherein the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomers are independently selected from one of the following structures (a) to (x):

wherein:

Y 8 is C(R 3 ) 2 , -C(R 3 ) 2 C(R 3 ) 2 -, -C(R 3 ) 2 Si(R 3 ) 2 -, NR 3 or Si(R 3 ) 2 ;

X is S or 0;each R 3 is independently H, a water solubilizing group, amino, substituted amino, halogen, cyano, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy and -T 1 -Z 1 ;

R 1 and R 2 are independently selected from H, halogen, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy and -T 1 -Z 1 , or R 1 and R 2 together form a 5- or 6- membered fused aryl, heteroaryl, cycloalkyi or heterocycle ring which can be optionally substituted (e.g., with an R 3 group);

Z 1 is a chemoselective functional group or a linked signaling chromophore; and

T 1 is a linker.

Clause 21. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to any one of clauses 19-20, wherein the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomers are independently selected from one of the following structures (ba) to (cd):

wherein:

X is S or O;

each R 4 is independently H, a water solubilizing group, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy and -T 1 -Z 1 ; and

R 1 and R 2 are independently selected from H, halogen, alkyl, substituted alkyl, aryl, substituted aryl, heteroaryl, substituted heteroaryl, acyl, substituted acyl, sulfonic acid, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy and -T 1 -Z 1 , or R 1 and R 2 together form a 5- or 6- membered fused aryl or heteroaryl ring which can be optionally substituted.

Clause 22. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to any one of clauses 19-20, wherein the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomers are independently selected from a substituted or unsubstituted 1 ,4-phenyl, a substituted or unsubstituted 1 ,3-phenyl, a substituted or unsubstituted 4,4'-biphenyl, a substituted or unsubstituted 2,5-pyridyl, and a substituted or unsubstituted 2,6-pyridyl.

Clause 23. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to clause 22, wherein the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer is selected from one of the following structures:

wherein Z 2 -Z 5 are each independently CR or N, where at least one Z 2 -Z 5 is N; and each R and each R 11 -R 16 are independently selected from the group consisting of hydrogen, water solubilizing group, halogen, cyano, alkoxy, substituted alkoxy, alkyl and substituted alkyl.

Clause 24. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to any one of clauses 19-23, wherein each co-monomer substituent (e.g., R 3 - R 47 , R and each 1 1 -R 16 ) are independently selected from one of the following structures:

wherein:

T 5 is an optional linker (e.g., a lower alkyi linker);

each T 6 is an linker (e.g., a lower alkyi linker);

R 11 and R are independently H, alkyi or substituted alkyi; and

each s is an integer from 1 to 50.

Clause 25. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to any one of clauses 19-24, wherein the aryl or heteroaryl co-monomers are independently selected from one of the following structures:

Clause 26. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to any one of clauses 1-25, wherein the multichromophore has the structure of formula (V):

wherein each WSG is independently a branched or linear WSG (e.g., as described herein); Z 1 is a linked chemoselective functional group or a linked acceptor

chromophore; G 1 and G 2 are each independently selected from a terminal group, a π conjugated segment, a linker and a linked specific binding member; and x, y and z represent % molarity of the units in the multichromophore.

Clause 27. The water soluble light harvesting multichromophore according to clause 26, wherein the multichromophore has the structure of formula (VI):

wherein each s is independently an integer from 6 to 50 (such as 6-30, 6 to 20, 1 1 to 20,

12 to 20, or 12 to 16; each R 11 is indepen y hydrogen, an alkyl or a substituted alkyl; DYE is the linked acceptor chromophore (e.g., a fluorophore); r is 0-6 (e.g., 0, 1 , 2, 3 or 4); and q is 1-12, such as 1-6 (e.g., 1 , 2, 3 or 4).

Clause 28. A polymeric tandem dye comprising:

a water soluble light harvesting multichromophore comprising a conjugated segment having the structure of formula I):

(I)

wherein:

F 1 is a fused tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a water soluble group (WSG); M 1 is an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

* denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group;

wherein at least one of F 1 and M 1 is substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6-50 (e.g., 6-40 or 6-30) monomeric units; and

a signaling chromophore covalently linked to the multichromophore in energy- receiving proximity therewith.

Clause 29. The polymeric tandem dye according to clause 28, wherein the multichromophore has an absorption maximum wavelength from 300nm to 400nm.

Clause 30. The polymeric tandem dye according to clause 28, wherein the signaling chromophore emission has a quantum yield of 0.1 or more.

Clause 31. The polymeric tandem dye according to clause 28, wherein the signaling chromophore emission has a brightness of 50 mM -1 cm -1 or more.

Clause 32. The polymeric tandem dye according to any one of clauses 28-31 wherein the signaling chromophore is a fluorophore.

Clause 33. The polymeric tandem dye according to any one of clauses 28- 31 , wherein the signaling chromophore is a quencher.

Clause 34. The polymeric tandem dye according to any one of clauses 28- 33, wherein the signaling chromophore is selected from a rhodamine, a coumarin, a xanthene, a cyanine, a polymethine, a pyrene, a dipyrromethene borondifluoride, a napthalimide, a phycobiliprotein, a peridinum chlorophyll protein, conjugates thereof, and combinations thereof.

Clause 35. The polymeric tandem dye according to any one of clauses 28-34, wherein the signaling chromophore is selected from fluorescein, 6-FAM, rhodamine, Texas Red, California Red, iFluor594, tetramethylrhodamine, a carboxyrhodamine, carboxyrhodamine 6G, carboxyrhodol, carboxyrhodamine 110, Cascade Blue, Cascade Yellow, coumarin, Cy2®, Cy3®, Cy3.5®, Cy5®, Cy5.5®, Cy7®, Cy-Chrome, DyLight 350, DyLight 405, DyLight 488, DyLight 549, DyLight 594, DyLight 633, DyLight 649, DyLight 680, DyLight 750, DyLight 800, phycoerythrin, PerCP (peridinin chlorophyll-a Protein), PerCP-Cy5.5, JOE (6-carboxy-4',5'-dichloro-2',7'-dimelhoxyfluorescein), NED, ROX (5-(and -6)-carboxy-X-rhodamine), HEX, Lucifer Yellow, Marina Blue, Oregon Green 488, Oregon Green 500, Oregon Green 514, Alexa Fluor® 350, Alexa Fluor® 430, Alexa Fluor® 488, Alexa Fluor® 532, Alexa Fluor® 546, Alexa Fluor® 568, Alexa Fluor® 594, Alexa Fluor® 633, Alexa Fluor® 647, Alexa Fluor® 660, Alexa Fluor® 680, 7-amino-4-methylcoumarin-3-acetic acid, BODIPY® FL, BODIPY® FL-Br2, BODIPY® 530/550, BODIPY® 558/568, BODIPY® 564/570, BODIPY® 576/589, BODIPY®

581/591 , BODIPY® 630/650, BODIPY® 650/665, BODIPY® R6G, BODIPY® TMR, BODIPY® TR, conjugates thereof and combinations thereof..

Clause 36. The polymeric tandem dye according to any one of clauses 28 to 35, wherein:

the signaling chromophore is linked to a co-monomer comprising 5% to 50% by molarity of the multichromophore; and

the multichromophore is a conjugated polymer comprising 5 or more repeat units. Clause 37. The polymeric tandem dye according to any one of clauses 28-36, wherein the multichromophore comprises a terminal group -L 3 -Z where L 3 is a linker and Z is a specific binding member.

Clause 38. The polymeric tandem dye according to clause 37, wherein the linker is selected from the group consisting of an alkyl, a substituted alkyl, an alkyl-amido, an alkyl-amido-alkyl and a PEG moiety.

Clause 39. The polymeric tandem dye according to clause 38, wherein -L 3 -Z is described by the following structure: wherein:

q is 0 or an integer from 1-12; and

Z is the specific binding member.

Clause 40. The polymeric tandem dye according to any one of clauses 37-39, wherein Z is a biomolecule.

Clause 41. The polymeric tandem dye according to any one of clauses 37-40, wherein Z is an antibody.

Clause 42. The polymeric tandem dye according to any one of clauses 37-41 , wherein Z is an antibody fragment or binding derivative thereof.

Clause 43. The polymeric tandem dye according to clause 42, wherein the antibody fragment or binding derivative thereof is selected from the group consisting of a Fab fragment, a F(ab') 2 fragment, a scFv, a diabody and a triabody.

Clause 44. An aggregation-resistant labelled specific binding member comprising: a water soluble light harvesting multichromophore comprising a conjugated segment having the structure of formula I):

(I)

wherein:

F 1 is a fused tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a water soluble group (WSG); M 1 is an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

* denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group;

wherein at least one of F 1 and M 1 is substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6-50 (e.g., 6-40 or 6-30) monomeric units; and

a specific binding member covalently linked to the multichromophore. Clause 45. The labelled specific binding member according to clause 44, further comprising a signaling chromophore covalently linked to the multichromophore in energy-receiving proximity therewith.

Clause 46. The labelled specific binding member according to any one of clauses 44- 45, wherein the specific binding member is an antibody.

Clause 47. The labelled specific binding member according to any one of clauses 44- 46, wherein the specific binding member is an antibody fragment or binding derivative thereof.

Clause 48. The labelled specific binding member according to clause 47, wherein the antibody fragment or binding derivative thereof is selected from the group consisting of a Fab fragment, a F(ab') 2 fragment, a scFv, a diabody and a triabody.

Clause 49. The labelled specific binding member according to clause 45, wherein the signaling chromophore is selected from a rhodamine, a coumarin, a xanthene, a cyanine, a polymethine, a pyrene, a dipyrromethene borondifluoride, a napthalimide, a phycobiliprotein, a peridinum chlorophyll protein, conjugates thereof, and combinations thereof.

Clause 50. A method of evaluating a sample for the presence of a target analyte, the method comprising:

(a) contacting the sample with an aggregation-resistant polymeric dye conjugate that specifically binds the target analyte to produce a labelling composition contacted sample, wherein the polymeric dye conjugate comprises:

(i) a water soluble light harvesting multichromophore comprising a conjugated segment having the structure of formula (I):

(I)

wherein:

fused tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a water soluble group

(WSG);

M is an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

* denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group; wherein at least one of F 1 and M 1 is substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6-50 (e.g., 6-40 or 6-30) monomeric units; and

(ii) a specific binding member; and

(b) assaying the labelling composition contacted sample for the presence of a polymeric dye conjugate- target analyte binding complex to evaluate whether the target analyte is present in the sample.

Clause 51. The method according to clause 50, wherein the polymeric dye conjugate further comprises a signaling chromophore covalently linked to the multichromophore in energy-receiving proximity therewith.

Clause 52. The method according to any one of clauses 50-51 , further comprising contacting the sample with a second specific binding member that is support bound and specifically binds the target analyte.

Clause 53. The method according to clause 52, wherein the support comprises a magnetic particle.

Clause 54. The method according to any one of clauses 50-53, wherein the target analyte is associated with a cell.

Clause 55. The method according to clause 54, wherein the target analyte is a cell surface marker of the cell.

Clause 56. The method according to clause 55, wherein the cell surface marker is selected from the group consisting of a cell receptor and a cell surface antigen.

Clause 57. The method according to clause 56, wherein the target analyte is an intracellular target, and the method further comprises lysing the cell.

Clause 58. The method according to any one of clauses 50-57, wherein the method further comprises flow cytometrically analyzing the fluorescently labelled target analyte.

Clause 59. A method of labelling a target molecule, the method comprising:

contacting the target molecule with a polymeric dye to produce a labelled target molecule, wherein the polymeric dye comprises:

a water soluble light harvesting multichromophore comprising a conjugated segment having the structure of formula (I):

wherein:

F 1 is a fused tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a water soluble group

(WSG);

M 1 is an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

* denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group;

wherein at least one of F 1 and M 1 is substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6-50 (e.g., 6-40 or 6-30) monomeric units; and

a conjugation tag that covalently links to the target molecule.

Clause 60. The method according to clause 59, wherein the polymeric dye further comprises a signaling chromophore covalently linked to the multichromophore in energy- receiving proximity therewith.

Clause 61. The method according to any one of clauses 59-60, further comprising fluorescently detecting the labelled target molecule.

Clause 62. The method according to any one of clauses 59-61 , wherein the conjugation tag comprises a terminal functional group selected from an amino, a thiol, a hydroxyl, a hydrazine, a hydrazide, a azide, an alkyne, maleimide, iodoacetyl, amine, an active ester and a protein reactive group.

Clause 63. The method according to any one of clauses 59-62, wherein the target molecule is a specific binding member.

Clause 64. The method according to clause 63, wherein the specific binding member is an antibody.

Clause 65. The method according to clause 63, wherein the specific binding member is an antibody fragment or binding derivative thereof.

Clause 66. The method according to clause 65, wherein the antibody fragment or binding derivative thereof is selected from the group consisting of a Fab fragment, a F(ab') 2 fragment, a scFv, a diabody and a triabody. Clause 67. A flow cytometric system, comprising:

a flow cytometer comprising a flow path;

a composition in the flow path, wherein the composition comprises:

a sample; and

an aggregation-resistant labelled specific binding member comprising: a water soluble light harvesting multichromophore comprising a conjugated segment havin the structure of formula (I):

(I)

wherein:

F 1 is a fused tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a water soluble group (WSG);

M 1 is an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

* denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group;

wherein at least one of F 1 and M 1 is substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6-50 (e.g., 6-40 or 6-30) monomeric units; and

a specific binding member that specifically binds a target analyte and is covalently linked to the multichromophore.

Clause 68. The system according to clause 67, wherein the labelled specific binding member further comprises a signaling chromophore covalently linked to the

multichromophore in energy-receiving proximity therewith.

Clause 69. The system according to any one of clauses 67-68, wherein the composition further comprises a second specific binding member that is support bound and specifically binds the target analyte.

Clause 70. The system according to clause 69, wherein the support comprises a magnetic particle.

Clause 71. The system according to any one of clauses 67-70, wherein the sample comprises a cell. Clause 72. The system according to clause 71 , wherein the target analyte is a cell surface marker of the cell.

Clause 73. The system according to clause 72, wherein the cell surface marker is selected from the group consisting of a cell receptor and a cell surface antigen.

Clause 74. A kit comprising:

a water soluble light harvesting multichromophore comprising a conjugated segment having the structure of formula I):

(I)

wherein:

F 1 is a fused tricyclic co-monomer substituted with a water soluble group (WSG); M 1 is an aryl or heteroaryl co-monomer;

n is an integer from 1 to 100,000; and

* denotes a site for covalent attachment to the unsaturated backbone of a conjugated polymer or an end group;

wherein at least one of F 1 and M 1 is substituted with a branched non-ionic water soluble group (WSG) comprising two or more water soluble polymers each having 6-50 (e.g., 6-40 or 6-30) monomeric units; and

a container.

Clause 75. The kit according to clause 74, further comprising one or more components selected from the group consisting of a polymeric tandem dye, a fluorophore, a specific binding member, a specific binding member conjugate, a cell, a support, a biocompatible aqueous elution buffer and instructions for use.

Clause 76. The kit according to any one of clauses 74-75, wherein the

multichromophore is described by any one of clauses 1-27.

Clause 77. The kit according to any one of clauses 74-76, wherein the

multichromophore is covalently linked to a specific binding member.

Clause 78. The kit according to clause 77, wherein the specific binding member is an antibody.

Clause 79. The kit according to clause 77, wherein the specific binding member is an antibody fragment or binding derivative thereof. Clause 80. The kit according to clause 79, wherein the antibody fragment or binding derivative thereof is selected from the group consisting of a Fab fragment, a F(ab') 2 fragment, a scFv, a diabody and a triabody.

Clause 81. The kit according to any one of clauses 74-80, wherein multichromophore further comprises an acceptor signaling chromophore covalently linked to the

multichromophore in energy-receiving proximity therewith.

Although the foregoing invention has been described in some detail by way of illustration and example for purposes of clarity of understanding, it is readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art in light of the teachings of this invention that certain changes and modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit or scope of the appended claims.

Accordingly, the preceding merely illustrates the principles of the invention. It will be appreciated that those skilled in the art will be able to devise various arrangements which, although not explicitly described or shown herein, embody the principles of the invention and are included within its spirit and scope. Furthermore, all examples and conditional language recited herein are principally intended to aid the reader in understanding the principles of the invention and the concepts contributed by the inventors to furthering the art, and are to be construed as being without limitation to such specifically recited examples and conditions. Moreover, all statements herein reciting principles, aspects, and embodiments of the invention as well as specific examples thereof, are intended to encompass both structural and functional equivalents thereof. Additionally, it is intended that such equivalents include both currently known equivalents and equivalents developed in the future, i.e., any elements developed that perform the same function, regardless of structure. The scope of the present invention, therefore, is not intended to be limited to the exemplary embodiments shown and described herein. Rather, the scope and spirit of present invention is embodied by the following.