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Chemistry. 2018 Apr 25;24(24):6458-6463. doi: 10.1002/chem.201800154. Epub 2018 Apr 14.

Multicolor Upconversion Nanoprobes Based on a Dual Luminescence Resonance Energy Transfer Assay for Simultaneous Detection and Bioimaging of [Ca2+ ]i and pHi in Living Cells.

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Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Detection Technology, for Tumour Markers, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Linyi University, Linyi, 276005, P. R. China.
Shandong Sino-Japanese Center for Collaborative Research, of Carbon Nanomaterials, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Qingdao University, Shandong, 266071, P. R. China.


Intracellular [Ca2+ ]i and pHi have a close relationship, and their abnormal levels can result in cell dysfunction and accompanying diseases. Thus, simultaneous determination of [Ca2+ ]i and pHi can more accurately investigate complex biological processes in an integrated platform. Herein, multicolor upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) were prepared with the advantages of no spectral overlapping, single NIR excitation wavelengths, and greater tissue penetration depth. The upconversion nanoprobes were easily prepared by the attachment of two fluorescent dyes, Fluo-4 and SNARF-4F. Based on the dual luminescence resonance energy transfer (LRET) process, the blue and green fluorescence of the UCNPs were specially quenched and selectively recovered after the detachment and/or absorbance change of the attached fluorescent dyes, enabling dual detection. Importantly, the developed nanoprobe could successfully be applied for the detection of [Ca2+ ]i and pHi change in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid (EGTA) stimulation in living cells.


intracellular Ca2+; intracellular pH; living cells; multicolor; upconversion nanoprobe


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