Main content area

Photoluminescent and electrochemiluminescent dual-signaling probe for bio-thiols based on a ruthenium(II) complex

Zhang, Wenzhu, Zhang, Run, Zhang, Jingmei, Ye, Zhiqiang, Jin, Dayong, Yuan, Jingli
Analytica chimica acta 2012 v.740 pp. 80-87
aqueous solutions, biotechnology, cysteine, detection limit, diagnostic techniques, dose response, glutathione, image analysis, photoluminescence, ruthenium, thiols
Photoluminescence (PL) and electrochemiluminescence (ECL) detection techniques are highly sensitive and widely used methods for clinical diagnostics and analytical biotechnology. In this work, a unique ruthenium(II) complex, [Ru(bpy)₂(DNBSO-bpy)](PF₆)₂ (bpy: 2,2′-bipyridine; DNBSO-bpy: 2,4-dinitrobenzenesulfonate of 4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2,2′-bipyridine), has been designed and synthesized as a highly sensitive and selective PL and ECL dual-signaling probe for the recognition and detection of bio-thiols in aqueous media. As a thiol-responsive probe, the complex can specifically and rapidly react with bio-thiols in aqueous solutions to yield a bipyridine-Ru(II) complex derivative, [Ru(bpy)₂(HP-bpy)]²⁺ (HP-bpy: 4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2,2′-bipyridine), accompanied by the remarkable PL and ECL enhancements. The complex was used as a probe for the PL and ECL detections of cysteine (Cys) and glutathione (GSH) in aqueous solutions. The dose-dependent PL and ECL enhancements showed good linear relationships against the Cys/GSH concentrations with the detection limits at nano-molar concentration level. Moreover, the complex-loaded HeLa cells were prepared for PL imaging of the endogenous intracellular thiols. The results demonstrated the practical utility of the complex as a cell-membrane permeable probe for PL imaging detection of bio-thiols in living cells.