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Radical Pair-Driven Luminescence of Quantum Dots for Specific Detection of Peroxynitrite in Living Cells

Zhou, Wenjuan, Cao, Yuqing, Sui, Dandan, Lu, Chao
Analytical chemistry 2016 v.88 no.5 pp. 2659-2665
chemiluminescence, electron transfer, hydrogen peroxide, light scattering, quantum dots, singlet oxygen, superoxide anion
There is currently great interest in developing chemiluminescence (CL) probes that can selectively detect peroxynitrite (ONOO–) in living cells. In comparison with other reactive oxygen species (ROS), ONOO– can spontaneously decompose into a series of radicals. Notably, the interaction of quantum dots (QDs) with oxidizing/reducing ROS radicals can generate a strong CL emission by electron-transfer annihilation. Herein, we report a novel CL probe that affords the ability to distinguish ONOO– from other ROS in living cells. ONOO– can activate luminescence of QDs in the absence of excitation source, effectively avoiding background noise and scattering of light from biological matrixes produced by in situ excitation; however, there is no response to other ROS including ¹O₂, H₂O₂, •OH, O₂•–, and ClO–. The outstanding selectivity of the present CL probe leads us to detect the exogenous release of ONOO– from 3-morpholinosydnonimine (SIN–1) in living cells. These results suggest that this present probe-based CL provides a promising platform for highly selective and sensitive detection of ONOO– in biological systems.