Lanthanide complex-based luminescent probes for highly sensitive time-gated luminescence detection of hypochlorous acid

Yunna Xiao, Run Zhang, Zhiqiang Ye*, Zhichao Dai, Huaying An, Jingli Yuan

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    113 Citations (Scopus)


    Two novel lanthanide complex-based luminescent probes, ANMTTA-Eu 3+ and ANMTTA-Tb3+ {ANMTTA, [4′-(4-amino-3- nitrophenoxy)methylene-2,2′:6′,2â-terpyridine-6,6â-diyl] bis(methylenenitrilo) tetrakis(acetic acid)}, have been designed and synthesized for the highly sensitive and selective time-gated luminescence detection of hypochlorous acid (HOCl) in aqueous media. The probes are almost nonluminescent due to the photoinduced electron transfer (PET) process from the 4-amino-3-nitrophenyl moiety to the terpyridine-Ln3+ moiety, which quenches the lanthanide luminescence effectively. Upon reaction with HOCl, the 4-amino-3-nitrophenyl moiety is rapidly cleaved from the probe complexes, which affords strongly luminescent lanthanide complexes HTTA-Eu3+ and HTTA-Tb3+ {HTTA, (4′-hydroxymethyl-2,2′:6′, 2â-terpyridine-6,6â-diyl) bis(methylenenitrilo) tetrakis(acetic acid)}, accompanied by the remarkable luminescence enhancements. The dose-dependent luminescence enhancements show good linearity with detection limits of 1.3 nM and 0.64 nM for HOCl with ANMTTA-Eu3+ and ANMTTA-Tb3+, respectively. In addition, the luminescence responses of ANMTTA-Eu3+ and ANMTTA-Tb3+ to HOCl are pH-independent with excellent selectivity to distinguish HOCl from other reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (ROS/RNS). The ANMTTA-Ln3+-loaded HeLa and RAW 264.7 macrophage cells were prepared, and then the exogenous HOCl in HeLa cells and endogenous HOCl in macrophage cells were successfully imaged with time-gated luminescence mode. The results demonstrated the practical applicability of the probes for the cell imaging application.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)10785-10792
    Number of pages8
    JournalAnalytical Chemistry
    Issue number24
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2012


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