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Open AccessArticle

Porphin-Based Carbon Dots for “Turn Off–On” Phosphate Sensing and Cell Imaging

by Jing Wu, Wenjing Wang and Zonghua Wang *
College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shandong Sino-Japanese Center for Collaborative Research of Carbon Nanomaterials, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266071, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(2), 326;
Received: 31 December 2019 / Revised: 2 February 2020 / Accepted: 8 February 2020 / Published: 14 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Dot Sensors)
Porphin-based carbon dots (denoted as PCDs) are prepared through a one-step hydrothermal method by using meso-tetra (4-carboxyphenyl) porphin (TCPP), citric acid, and ethanediamine as precursor. PCDs give rise to the optimal photoluminescence at λexem = 375/645 nm, exhibit an excitation-independent property, excellent water solubility, and good biocompatibility, which provide red emission and avoid the autofluorescence as an efficient fluorescent imaging probe. On the other hand, when Eu3+ is added into PCDs, the carboxylate groups located on the surface of PCDs exhibit high affinity to Eu3+, resulting in the fluorescence of PCDs turning off via static quenching. In the presence of phosphate, owing to the strong coordination with Eu3+, the fluorescence of PCDs turns on. Based on this performance, a novel “turn off–on” phosphate sensing system is developed. The detection limit of this sensing system can attain 3.59 × 10−3 μmol L−1. This system has been utilized for the detection of phosphate in real samples successfully, which further demonstrates potential applications in biological diagnostic and environmental analysis.
Keywords: carbon dots; porphin; cell imaging; phosphate detection carbon dots; porphin; cell imaging; phosphate detection
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, J.; Wang, W.; Wang, Z. Porphin-Based Carbon Dots for “Turn Off–On” Phosphate Sensing and Cell Imaging. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 326.

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