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A 7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazole (NBD) derived turn-on fluorescent probe (1) exhibits a reversible binding to Cu2+ ion in presence of other metal ions, giving 20 fold increase in fluorescence intensity. The apparent association constant (Ka) for Cu2+ was found to be 2.62 × 104 M−1. The intracellular Cu2+ imaging behaviour of chemosensor 1 on HeLa cells studied by fluorescence microscopy revealed that after incubation with 1 cells exhibited intensive fluorescence when exogenous Cu2+ was introduced into the cell. Thus this probe features the ready availability, high sensitivity and selectivity towards Cu2+ in MeCN–H2O (1:1, v/v) with cell imaging possibilities with no or negligible cytotoxicity.
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Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
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