A reversible biocompatible "turn-on" fluorescent probe for the detection of mercury(II)

Tao Zhang*, Baoyan Wu, Zhengzhi Zou, Yunxia Wu, Judun Zheng, Rick W K WONG, Ka-Leung WONG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


A new rhodamine-based fluorescent probe based on the known ring-opening mechanism of rhodamine derivative, was successfully synthesized and demonstrated to detect the Hg2+ with high selectivity and sensitivity in aqueous solution and living cells. In the presence of Hg2+, the probe exhibit remarkably amplified absorption with a binding constant determined as 8.76±0.13, followed by a distinct change in color and 560-fold enhancement of fluorescence with a reversible response and little interference with other biological relevant metal ions. Moreover, the confocal microscopic switch-on imaging in MCF-7 cells of the probe towards Hg2+, together with its non-cytotoxicity and efficient cellular uptake, confirmed that the probe can be used as a biocompatible probe for monitoring of Hg2+ in living cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-193
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Luminescence
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cellular uptake
  • Fluorescent probe
  • Mercury
  • Reversible
  • Rhodamine


Dive into the research topics of 'A reversible biocompatible "turn-on" fluorescent probe for the detection of mercury(II)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this