A near-infrared multifunctional fluorescent probe with an inherent tumor-targeting property for bioimaging†
A mitochondria-targeting probe, by conjugating a quaternary ammonium cation with glucosamine modified pH-activated cyanine, was designed and synthesized. This probe has excellent selectivity and sensitivity toward pH, stability, cellular membrane permeability and low cytotoxicity. Owing to the acidic feature of tumors and the more negative mitochondrial membrane potential of tumor cells than that of normal cells, this probe can selectively accumulate in tumor cells and light up its fluorescence. It has been successfully applied for in vivo tumor imaging with a high signal-to-noise ratio. Moreover, this multifunctional switchable sensor was also employed for the fluorescent imaging of the fluctuation of intracellular pH in HeLa cells.