Highly fluorescent carbon dots as selective and sensitive “on-off-on” probes for iron(III) ion and apoferritin detection and imaging in living cells

Blue luminescent nitrogen-doped carbon dots with a fluorescence quantum yield of 42.3% were prepared by an efficient one-step pyrolytic route from ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and urea

Cuiping Han; Ru Wang; Keying Wang; Huiting Xu; Meirong Sui; Jingjing Li; Kai Xu

2016

Scholarcy highlights

  • Blue luminescent nitrogen-doped carbon dots with a fluorescence quantum yield of 42.3% were prepared by an efficient one-step pyrolytic route from ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and urea
  • The as-synthesized N-CDs were demonstrated as an effective fluorescent probe for label-free, selective and sensitive recognition of Fe3+ with a linear range of 0.5 μM to 2 mM and a detection limit of 13.6 nM due to Fe3+-quenched fluorescence
  • The quenched fluorescence could be turned on after the addition of apoferritin owing to the removal of ferric species from the surface of N-CDs by apoferritin, making complex N-CDs/Fe3+ a selective apoferritin probe with a linear range of 0.1–25 μM and a detection limit as low as 2.6 nM
  • The application of this novel N-CDs-based probe for imaging Fe3+ ions and apoferritin in living cells suggest that this sensing system has great potential applications in biosensing, bioimaging, and many other fields

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