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Proton-controlled synthesis of red-emitting carbon dots and application for hematin detection in human erythrocytes

Ju, Yan Jun, Li, Na, Liu, Shi Gang, Liang, Jia Yu, Gao, Xin, Fan, Yu Zhu, Luo, Hong Qun, Li, Nian Bing
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2019 v.411 no.6 pp. 1159-1167
carbon quantum dots, erythrocytes, fluorescent dyes, humans, optical properties, pH
The Red-emitting nitrogen-doped carbon dots (N-CDs) are synthesized using o-phenylenediamine by a one-step method, and can serve as a fluorescent probe for “turn off” detection of hematin in human red cells. The red-emitting N-CDs can be obtained only in acidic conditions and the emission of the red-emitting N-CDs is pH-dependent, indicating proton-controlled synthesis and emission. The red-emitting N-CDs are 2.7 nm in mean size and have a uniform dispersion and exhibit a high quantum yield (12.8%) and great optical properties. The developed sensing system for hematin displays a linear response from 0.4 to 32 μM with a detection limit of 0.18 μM. Importantly, this fluorescent probe demonstrates a good potential practicability for the quantitative detection of hematin in complex matrixes. Graphical abstract ᅟ