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Issue 41, 2013
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A broad range fluorescent pH sensor based on hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles, utilising the surface curvature effect

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Abstract

In this study, a broad range pH sensor was synthesized by loading the pH sensitive dye, fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC), and a reference dye, rhodamine B isothiocyanate (RITC), into the mesostructure of hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles (HMSNs) synthesized using a co-condensation method. Compared to a pH sensor based on the same pair of dyes on conventional mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs), this dual-labeled pH sensor based on HMSNs shows a larger pH sensitive range, between 4.5 and 8.5, because of its broad surface curvature distribution which has a strong effect on the apparent pKa values of the FITC dye. The hollow mesoporous silica–dye nanoparticles were used to monitor intracellular pH via a ratiometric fluorescence method. The confocal images demonstrated the capacity of this broad range sensor which can differentiate simultaneously the local pH between various environments, for example, in the medium (pH = 7.2), cytosol (pH ∼ 7) and the endosome–lysosome pathway (pH = 4–5.5).

Graphical abstract: A broad range fluorescent pH sensor based on hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles, utilising the surface curvature effect

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Jul 2013, accepted on 21 Aug 2013 and first published on 22 Aug 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3TB21009J
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. B, 2013,1, 5557-5563
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    A broad range fluorescent pH sensor based on hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles, utilising the surface curvature effect

    C. Tsou, C. Chu, Y. Hung and C. Mou, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2013, 1, 5557
    DOI: 10.1039/C3TB21009J

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