American Chemical Society
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Dual-Emitting Fluorescent Metal–Organic Framework Nanocomposites as a Broad-Range pH Sensor for Fluorescence Imaging

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-05-04, 00:00 authored by Haiyong Chen, Jing Wang, Duoliang Shan, Jing Chen, Shouting Zhang, Xiaoquan Lu
pH plays an important role in understanding physiological/pathologic processes, and abnormal pH is a symbol of many common diseases such as cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. In this work, an effective dual-emission fluorescent metal–organic framework nanocomposite probe (denoted as RB-PCN) has been constructed for sensitive and broad-range detection of pH. RB-PCN was prepared by encapsulating the DBI-PEG-NH2-functionalized Fe3O4 into Zr-MOFs and then further reacting it with rhodamine B isothiocyanates (RBITC). In RB-PCN, RBITC is capable of sensing changes in pH in acidic solutions. Zr-MOFs not only enrich the target analyte but also exhibit a fluorescence response to pH changes in alkaline solutions. Based on the above structural and compositional features, RB-PCN could detect a wide range of pH changes. Importantly, such a nanoprobe could “see” the intracellular pH changes by fluorescence confocal imaging as well as “measure” the wider range of pH in actual samples by fluorescence spectroscopy. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time a MOF-based dual-emitting fluorescent nanoprobe has been used for a wide range of pH detection.