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Visualizing semipermeability of the cell membrane using a pH-responsive ratiometric AIEgen

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Abstract

In clinical chemotherapy, some basic drugs cannot enter the hydrophobic cell membrane because of ionization in the acidic tumor microenvironment, a phenomenon known as ion trapping. In this study, we developed a method to visualize this ion trapping phenomenon by utilizing a pH-responsive ratiometric AIEgen, dihydro berberine (dhBBR). By observing the intracellular fluorescence of dhBBR, we found that non-ionized dhBBR can enter cells more easily than ionized forms, which is in accordance with the concept of ion trapping. In addition, dhBBR shows superior anti-photobleaching ability to Curcumin thanks to its AIE properties. These results suggest that dhBBR can serve as a bioprobe for ion trapping.

Graphical abstract: Visualizing semipermeability of the cell membrane using a pH-responsive ratiometric AIEgen

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
14 Apr 2020
Accepted
14 May 2020
First published
15 May 2020

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Edge Article

Visualizing semipermeability of the cell membrane using a pH-responsive ratiometric AIEgen

Y. Gu, Z. Zhao, G. Niu, H. Zhang, Y. Wang, R. T. K. Kwok, J. W. Y. Lam and B. Z. Tang, Chem. Sci., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0SC02097D

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