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Polymeric Membrane Electrodes Using Calix[4]pyrrole Bis/Tetra-Phosphonate Cavitands as Ionophores for Potentiometric Acetylcholine Sensing with High Selectivity

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journal contribution
posted on 16.10.2020, 20:45 by Long Li, Yihao Zhang, Pengcheng Du, Yi Qian, Peidong Zhang, Qingjie Guo
A handful of bis/tetra-phosphonate calix[4]­pyrroles with recognition sites embedding in hydrophobic cavitands were evaluated for the first time as ionophores for polymeric membrane Ach+-selective electrodes. Highly selective potentiometric Ach+ could be achieved over its analogues, especially for Ch+, which differs only by an acetate tail from Ach+. The superior performance of the proposed ISEs might be ascribed to a dual-site binding mode, in which the trimethylammonium head and acetate tail were accommodated by the phosphonate group-bridged aryl walls and the bowl-shaped aromatic cavity, through cation−π/charge–dipole interaction and the convergent four N–H···O hydrogen bonds, respectively. To gain more insight into the performance of the proposed ISEs, the cation–ionophore complex constants in the membrane phase were determined, and the binding affinity trend correlates well with the selectivity pattern. These results suggest that conformational preorganization of the ionophores and complementary weak interactions do change the selectivity of the ionophores. Studies on the influence of the sample solution pH demonstrated that the developed ISEs can be employed in a wide pH range of 4.0–9.6 with a fast response (<60 s), good reversibility, and long lifetime. Optimizing the membrane components, such as ionophores, lipophilic additives, and plasticizers, yielded ISEs, showing Nernstian responses to Ach+ with improved linear ranges and detection limits (a slope of −59.5 mV/dec in the linear range of 1 × 10–6–1 × 10–2 M with a detection limit of 3 × 10–7 M), which led to the success of the determination of Ach+ in spiked urine and milk samples.