A series of new fluorescent arylstyrylimidazo[1,2-a]pyridines was synthesized and fully characterized. It is observed that the E isomers are stable in the solid state and in solutions. The absorption and emission properties of the compounds changed drastically upon acidification. The compounds showed good thermal stability for practical applications. In addition, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and DNA-cleavage activity of the compounds were examined. The results indicate that the compounds did not show any antimicrobial and antioxidant activity. However, they caused decreased mobility of form I DNA and also showed DNA cleavage activity. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.