A novel fluorescent probe for sensing and imaging extreme acidity

Weifen Niu, Li Fan, Ming Nan, Ricky M S WONG, Shaomin Shuang, Chuan Dong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


A novel fluorescent probe for extreme acidity is developed using biocompatible indole derivative as the fluorophore. The probe is linearly proportional to extreme acidity range of 2.3-3.6 with pKa 2.89. Moreover, it displays promising spectroscopic features such as large Stokes shift (145 nm), highly selective response to H+ over various metal ions, good photostability and excellent reversibility. The confocal laser scanning microscope images display the probe possesses excellent cell membrane permeability, and is further applied successfully to monitor pH fluctuations of extreme acidity range in E. coli cells without influence of autofluorescence and native cellular species in biological systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-540
Number of pages7
JournalSensors and Actuators B: Chemical
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Extreme acidity
  • Fluorescent probe
  • Imaging
  • pH


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