Microchimica Acta

, 186:11 | Cite as

A phenylboronate-based SERS nanoprobe for detection and imaging of intracellular peroxynitrite

  • Hua-Ying Chen
  • Dan Guo
  • Zhen-Fei Gan
  • Lei Jiang
  • Shuai Chang
  • Da-Wei LiEmail author
Original Paper


A surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) based nanoprobe was developed for detection and imaging of endogenous peroxynitrite in living cells. The probe was fabricated by assembling 3-mercaptophenylboronic acid pinacol ester onto the surface of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). The detection of peroxynitrite is accomplished via measurement of the changes in the SERS spectra (at 882 cm−1) that are caused by the reaction between probe and peroxynitrite. The probe has a fast response (<30 s), a 0.4 μM lower detection limit and a wide linearity range from 5.0 × 10−7 to 1.0 × 10−4 M. It is biocompatible and highly stable on storage and under various pH conditions. Both the reaction and the SERS signal are highly specific over other species. The nanoprobe was successfully applied to SERS imaging of peroxynitrite that is produced in macrophages under oxidative stress. Conceivably, the method has a most viable tool for use in studies on peroxynitrite-related physiological and pathological processes.

Graphical abstract

Schematic presentation of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanoprobes fabricated by assembling phenylboronate on gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) for detecting intracellular peroxynitrite (ONOO) via specific reaction-caused SERS changes.


Gold nanoparticles Boronate ester Biosensor Specific reaction Surface-enhanced Raman scattering Reactive oxygen species Oxidative stress Living cell 



The authors greatly appreciate the financial support from National Natural Science Foundation of China (21575041, 21777041), Shanghai Pujiang Program (17PJD010), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (222201718001, 222201717003).

Compliance with ethical standards

The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

604_2018_3129_MOESM1_ESM.doc (4.6 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 4739 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hua-Ying Chen
    • 1
  • Dan Guo
    • 1
  • Zhen-Fei Gan
    • 1
  • Lei Jiang
    • 1
  • Shuai Chang
    • 1
  • Da-Wei Li
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Advanced Materials, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Functional Materials Chemistry, School of Chemistry and Molecular EngineeringEast China University of Science and TechnologyShanghaiChina

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