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Sensing Organic Amines and Quantitative Monitoring of Intracellular pH Change Using a Fluorescent Self-Assembly System

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journal contribution
posted on 07.05.2019 by Xinhua Cao, Yiran Li, Aiping Gao, Yongsheng Yu, Xueping Chang, Xiaohan Hei
A series of supramolecular self-assembly gelators (N-4, N-12, and N-18) were designed and synthesized. N-12 and N-18 could gelate some single or mixed solvents. Microbelts and nanofibers were obtained in the self-assembly process. The hydrophobic xerogel N-18 film surface had water contact angles of 119–148.5°. Interestingly, these compounds exhibited solvatochromism properties, and compound N-18 had ratiometric detection ability toward organic amines with a detection limit for triethylamine (TEA) of 2.23 × 10–6 M. At the same time, compound N-18 in solution and the organogel state could distinguish aromatic amines and fatty amines through its fluorescence changing. These compounds exhibited a specific pH-dependence fluorescence behavior in the the pH value range of 3–11. Compound N-4 was successfully applied to bioimaging for quantitative monitoring of pH change in cell. This work provides a new window for the preparation of self-assembly for sensitive detection organic amines and pH probes for accurate intracellular pH mapping and quantifying.