Turn-on trivalent cation selective chemodosimetric probe to image native cellular iron pools†
A new turn-on cell permeable chemodosimetric probe 1 has been developed and its application in the selective detection of trivalent cations (Fe3+/Cr3+/Al3+) at a sub-nanomolar level has been demonstrated. The selectivity of 1 over a broad spectrum of mono- and divalent metal ions was established using fluorescence spectroscopy. Moreover, the changes in the absorption spectra of 1 in the presence of trivalent cations enabled the most bio-relevant metal ion Fe3+ over Cr3+/Al3+ to be distinguished. The probe was found to be successful in the fluorescence imaging of native cellular iron pools. The fluorescence imaging of the native iron pools of banana pith further supported the high sensitivity of 1 towards Fe3+ present in living systems. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of a turn-on chemodosimetric probe to image native cellular Fe3+ pools.