Simultaneous recognition of cysteine and cytosine using thiophene-based organic nanoparticles decorated with Au NPs and bio-imaging of cells
Biomolecules like cysteine and cytosine play a significant role in many physiological processes, and their unusual level in biological systems can lead to many diseases including cancer. Indeed, the need for selective detection of these moieties by a fluorescence probe is imperative. Thus, thiophene based Schiff N,N′-bis(thiophene-2-ylmethylene)thiophenemethane (BMTM) was synthesized and then characterized using several analytical techniques before converting it into organic nanoparticles (ONPs). Then, fluorescent organic inorganic nanohybrids (FONs) were obtained after decorating ONPs with AuNPs to yield BMTM-Au-ONPs (FONPs). The morphology of the particles, analyzed using a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM), shows that AuNPs were embedded with low density organic matter (ONPs). FONPs were employed to recognize cysteine and cytosine simultaneously. No interference was observed from other moieties such as guanine, uracyl, NADH, NAD, ATP, and adenine during the detection. It means that the intensity of the fluorescence signal was significantly changed (enhanced for cytosine and quenched for cysteine). So, FONPs were used to detect cysteine and cytosine in real samples, like Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells. As expected, no considerable fluorescence signal for cysteine was observed, while for cytosine, strong fluorescence signals were detected in the cells. DFT was used to explain the interaction of FONPs with cysteine or cytosine.