Design of a ratiometric two-photon probe for imaging of hypochlorous acid (HClO) in wounded tissues†
HClO plays crucial roles in a wide range of biological and pathological processes. Recent studies have revealed that the generation of HClO has close links with the wound healing process. It's thus meaningful to develop a reliable method for monitoring HClO in wounded tissues. Toward this purpose, we herein report a rationally designed quinolone-based ratiometric two-photon fluorescent probe, QClO, for HClO. The probe QClO rapidly displays a drop in blue emission and an increase of green emission in response to HClO due to the oxidation of oxathiolane. The fluorescence intensity ratio (green/blue) can serve as the ratiometric detection signal for HClO with high sensitivity. After confirming its excellent sensing performance in vitro, the probe was validated by detecting exogenous and endogenous HClO in living cells. The probe was capable of monitoring HClO in situ in the wounded tissues of mice by two-photon microscopy, which demonstrated the production profile of HClO during the wound-healing process. This work affords a simple and reliable tool for the detection and imaging of HClO, which promises to find more applications in HClO-related biological and pathological studies.