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A FRET chemsensor based on graphene quantum dots for detecting and intracellular imaging of Hg2+

Liu, Maoping, Liu, Tao, Li, Yang, Xu, Hui, Zheng, Baozhan, Wang, Dongmei, Du, Juan, Xiao, Dan
Talanta 2015 v.143 pp. 442-449
biocompatibility, chemical bonding, cytotoxicity, energy transfer, fluorescence, graphene, image analysis, mercury, monitoring, quantum dots, water solubility
The detection of Hg2+ has attracted considerable attention because of the serious health and environmental problems caused by it. Herein, a novel ratiometric fluorescent chemsensor (GQDs–SR) based on the fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) process for detecting of Hg2+ was designed and synthesized with rhodamine derivative covalently linked onto graphene quantum dots. In this sensor, the graphene quantum dots (GQDs) served as energy donor and the rhodamine derivative turned into an energy acceptor when encountered Hg2+. The chemsensor exhibited high selectivity, low cytotoxicity, biocompatibility and good water solubility. The results of intracellular imaging experiment demonstrated that GQDs–SR was cell permeable and could be used for monitoring Hg2+ in living cells, and it was also successfully applied to the detection of Hg2+ in practical water samples.