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Issue 4, 2019
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A carbonothioate-based far-red fluorescent probe for the specific detection of mercury ions in living cells and zebrafish

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Abstract

The detection of ionic mercury (Hg2+) is very important because it is a highly toxic environmental pollutant that could cause serious diseases and threaten human health. Herein, we designed a new carbonothioate-based far-red fluorescent probe, CBRB, with a seminaphthorhodafluor dye as the fluorophore for the detection of Hg2+. The CBRB probe by itself exhibited very weak fluorescence due to the enhanced photo-induced electron transfer (PET) effect and inhibited the intramolecular charge transfer (ICT) process caused by the carbonothioate moiety. Upon addition of Hg2+, a tremendous fluorescence enhancement was achieved, attributed to the removal of the carbonothioate group via a specific mercury-promoted desulfurization reaction. Moreover, the probe displayed a large Stokes shift (about 105 nm) and was used to quantitatively measure the concentration of Hg2+ for concentrations ranging from 0 to 1 μM (DL = 3.6 nM). In addition, CBRB in our experiments responded exclusively to Hg2+, even in the presence of high concentrations other ions. Gratifyingly, this probe was successfully used to monitor Hg2+ in environmental water samples and to image Hg2+ in living cells as well as in zebrafish.

Graphical abstract: A carbonothioate-based far-red fluorescent probe for the specific detection of mercury ions in living cells and zebrafish

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
02 Sep 2018
Accepted
18 Dec 2018
First published
20 Dec 2018

Analyst, 2019,144, 1426-1432
Article type
Paper

A carbonothioate-based far-red fluorescent probe for the specific detection of mercury ions in living cells and zebrafish

Q. Duan, H. Zhu, C. Liu, R. Yuan, Z. Fang, Z. Wang, P. Jia, Z. Li, W. Sheng and B. Zhu, Analyst, 2019, 144, 1426
DOI: 10.1039/C8AN01696H

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