In this research, a novel terbium-based luminescent hybrid inorganic/organic probe was designed and synthesized. Mesoporous silica nanospheres dispersed in water were used as the appropriate host for the covalently linked lanthanide-containing organic structures. The lanthanide structure was linked to a sulfonate ester unit, which, in the presence of biothiols, was cleaved to result in terbium emission. The hybrid probe exhibited the capabilities of quantitative determination and detection limits for biothiols were presented (36.8 nM for Cys, 32.5 nM for GSH, and 34.7 nM for Hcy). Evaluation of luminescence changes in cell culture demonstrated that this smart probe is cell membrane permeable and selectively lights up in the presence of cysteine and glutathione in human embryonic kidney cells and human lung adenocarcinoma cells. This variation in the presence of biothiols can be controlled by the treatment with N-methylmaleimide. The narrow line-like bands and long-lived excited states of this terbium luminescent sensor allows the discrimination of scattering signals and interfering fluorescence derived from biological tissues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Inorganic Chemistry