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Biomaterials. 2012 Jan;33(1):171-80. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2011.09.053. Epub 2011 Oct 7.

An FRET-based ratiometric chemosensor for in vitro cellular fluorescence analyses of pH.

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1
Center for Biosignatures Discovery Automation, Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA.

Abstract

Ratiometric fluorescence sensing is an important technique for precise and quantitative analysis of biological events occurring under complex conditions by simultaneously recording fluorescence intensities at two wavelengths and calculating their ratios. Herein, we design a ratiometric chemosensor for pH that is based on photo-induced electron transfer (PET) and binding-induced modulation of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) mechanisms. This ratiometric chemosensor was constructed by introduction of a pH-insensitive coumarin fluorophore as an FRET donor into a pH-sensitive amino-naphthalimide derivative as the FRET acceptor. The sensor exhibited clear dual-mission signal changes in blue and green spectral windows upon pH changes. The pH sensor was applied for not only measuring cellular pH, but also for visualizing stimulus-responsive changes of intracellular pH values.

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