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Paper published in Analytical Chemistry by Binbin Chu et. al.

Date released: 2017-10-20

Title:Fluorescent Silicon Nanorods-Based Ratiometric Sensors for Long-Term and Real-Time Measurements of Intracellular pH in Live Cells

Authors:Binbin Chu, Bin Song(co-first author), Xiaoyuan Ji, Yuanyuan Su, Houyu Wang,* and Yao He*

Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials (FUNSOM) and Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123, China

Abstract:Long-term and real-time investigation of the dynamic process of pHi changes is critically significant for understanding the related pathogenesis of diseases and the design of intracellular drug delivery systems. Herein, we present a one-step synthetic strategy to construct ratiometric pH sensors, which are made of europium (Eu)-doped onedimensional silicon nanorods (Eu@SiNRs). The as-prepared Eu@SiNRs have distinct emission maxima peaks at 470 and 620 nm under 405 nm excitation. Of particular note, the fluorescence emission intensity at 470 nm decreases along with the increase of pH, while the one at 620 nm is nearly unaffected by pH changes, making Eu@SiNRs a feasible probe for pH sensing ratiometrically. Moreover, Eu@SiNRs are found to be responsive to a broad pH range (ca. 3-9), biocompatible (e.g., ∼100% of cell viability during 24 h treatment) and photostable (e.g., ∼10% loss of intensity after 40 min continuous UV irradiation). Taking advantages of these merits, we employ Eu@SiNRs for the visualization of the cytoplasmic alkalization process mediated by nigericin in living cells, for around 30 min without interruption, revealing important information for understanding the dynamic process of pHi fluctuations.



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