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Langmuir. 2009 Jan 20;25(2):676-8. doi: 10.1021/la803762b.

Continuous on-site label-free ATP fluorometric assay based on aggregation-induced emission of silole.

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  • 1National Centre for Nanoscience and Technology, No. 11, Beiyitiao, Zhongguancun, Beijing 100190, PR China.


In this letter, we have described the establishment of a label-free fluorometric assay to detect adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which can enable the monitoring of the ATP hydrolysis process continuously and in situ. This assay is based on a silole derivative with positively charged modifications, compound 1, that can aggregate on the negative charged ATP template through charge-charge interaction. Because the silole group has strong aggregation-induced fluorescence emission (AIE), we have found that the aggregation could induce strong fluorescence emission and its intensity is positively and linearly related to the ATP concentration. Meanwhile, 1 also shows good discrimination for ATP, where its hydrolysis products ADP, AMP, and adenosine could not induce sufficient aggregation to produce a strong fluorescence signal. These characteristics are sufficient to build up a sensitive fluorescence assay to monitor the ATP concentration change in solution in situ, and we have also verified its usability in studying the reaction process of phosphatase.

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