A Fluoran-Based Cu2+-Selective Fluorescent Probe and its Application in Cell Imaging


Based on a fluoran skeleton, we herein reported a new fluorescent probe FLACu for Cu2+ by facile modification of the spirolactone of dye 1 with phenylhydrazine. Taking advantage of the spirolactam moiety, FLACu only delivers a specific “off-on” fluorescence signal output towards Cu2+ when treated with various metal ions, which has been well elucidated as the result of spirolactam ring opening and hydrolysis processes induced by copper ion. Meanwhile, the limit of detection (LOD) for FLACu has been estimated to be 35.4 nM and a pH range of 5.0–9.0 is evaluated to be suitable for Cu2+ detection. Significantly, FLACu shows low cell cytotoxicity and can be further ultilzied in the detection of exogenous Cu2+ in the living Hela cells.

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We gratefully acknowledge Doctoral Scientific Research Start-up Foundation of China West Normal University (18Q022), Key Laboratory of Chemical Synthesis and Pollution Control of Sichuan Province (CSPC201802), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21671159).

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Correspondence to Kun Huang or Dabin Qin.

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Qiu, Q., Yu, B., Huang, K. et al. A Fluoran-Based Cu2+-Selective Fluorescent Probe and its Application in Cell Imaging. J Fluoresc 30, 859–866 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10895-020-02551-w

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  • Fluorescent probe
  • Fluoran
  • Copper ion
  • Cell imaging