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Org Biomol Chem. 2012 Jul 28;10(28):5410-6. doi: 10.1039/c2ob25589h. Epub 2012 Jun 18.

A BODIPY-based colorimetric and fluorometric chemosensor for Hg(II) ions and its application to living cell imaging.

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  • 1Department of Applied Chemistry, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, Republic of China.


A new monostyryl boron dipyrromethene derivative (MS1) appended with two triazole units indicates the presence of Hg(2+) among other metal ions with high selectivity by color change and red emission. Upon Hg(2+) binding, the absorption band of MS1 is blue-shifted by 29 nm due to the inhibition of the intramolecular charge transfer from the nitrogen to the BODIPY, resulting in a color change from blue to purple. Significant fluorescence enhancement is observed with MS1 in the presence of Hg(2+); the metal ions Ag(+), Ca(2+), Cd(2+), Co(2+), Cu(2+), Fe(2+), Fe(3+), K(+), Mg(2+), Mn(2+), Ni(2+), Pb(2+), and Zn(2+) cause only minor changes in the fluorescence of the system. The apparent association constant (K(a)) of Hg(2+) binding in MS1 is found to be 1.864 × 10(5) M(-1). In addition, fluorescence microscopy experiments show that MS1 can be used as a fluorescent probe for detecting Hg(2+) in living cells.

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