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Fluorescence light up detection of aluminium ion and imaging in live cells based on the aggregation-induced emission enhancement of thiolated gold nanoclusters

Luo, Peng, Zheng, Youkun, Qin, Zhaojian, Li, Chunmei, Jiang, Hui, Wang, Xuemei
Talanta 2019 v.204 pp. 548-554
aluminum, aqueous solutions, biocompatibility, fluorescence, fluorescent dyes, fluorescent labeling, glutathione, image analysis, metal ions, nanogold, poisoning, toxicity
In this paper, a new strategy was presented for fluorescence labeling and imaging Al3+ in live cells with excess aluminum ions using thiolated fluorescence gold nanoclusters (Au NCs). The glutathione (GSH)-capped Au NCs were prepared via a green, facile one-pot method in aqueous solution and displayed excellent stability, ultrasmall size, monodispersity, and larger Stokes shift, which exhibits a relatively weak fluorescence at 650 nm Al3+-induced fluorescence enhancement of the GSH-Au NCs can be observed due to Al3+-triggered aggregation-induced emission (AIE) effect, which allows the role of GSH-Au NCs as a fluorescence light-up probe for detection of Al3+. Moreover, it was demonstrated that the fluorescence probe for Al3+ showed a wide detection range from 100 to 600 μM and good selectivity against other metal ions and common biomolecule. Furthermore, due to the advantages of excellent biocompatibility, low toxicity, red emission and high specificity, the proposed GSH-Au NCs fluorescence probes are suitable for the imaging of high concentrations of aluminum ions in cells, which can be applied to the diagnosis of cellular aluminum poisoning.