Azide functionalized porphyrin based dendritic polymers for in vivo monitoring of Hg2+ ions in living cells†
A porphyrin cored azide functionalised dendritic polymer was developed as a selective sensor for in vivo monitoring of mercuric ions in living (normal and cancer) cells and in an aqueous medium. The developed sensor could sense mercuric ions even at a nanomolar concentration with a limit of detection value of 0.9 nM. This probe can be used to monitor mercuric ions in living cells due to its low cytotoxicity and high cell permeability. The hydrophilic nature of the polymer makes it a promising candidate for sensing mercuric ions in real water samples. Moreover, the reversibility of this sensing strategy helps in constructing a logic gate, which is particularly useful in smart sensor design.