A new continuous fluorometric assay for acetylcholinesterase activity and inhibitor screening with emissive core–shell silica particles containing tetraphenylethylene fluorophore†
Emissive core–shell silica particles with tetraphenylethylene moieties were prepared and characterized. Fluorescence quenching was observed for the silica particles upon addition of compound 2 (Dabcyl-ACh). This was attributed to the electrostatic interaction between the silica particles and 2 and the resulting photoinduced energy transfer between them. After incubation with AChE, the fluorescence intensity started to increase. The fluorescence enhancement became more significant when the concentration of AChE was higher. The reaction kinetic parameters for AChE were successfully estimated with the silica particles and 2. These results reveal that the ensemble of the silica particles and 2 can be utilized for AChE assay. Moreover, the fluorescence spectra of the ensemble of the silica particles and 2 containing AChE were also measured after further addition of either neostigmine or tacrine which are typical inhibitors of AChE. The results manifest that the ensemble of the emissive silica particles and 2 is also useful for screening the inhibitors of AChE.