Multi-Stimuli Responsive FRET Processes of Bifluorophoric AIEgens in an Amphiphilic Copolymer and Its Application to Cyanide Detection in Aqueous Media

Pham Quoc Nhien, Wei Lun Chou, Tu Thi Kim Cuc, Trang Manh Khang, Chia Hua Wu, Natesan Thirumalaivasan, Bui Thi Buu Hue, Judy I. Wu, Shu Pao Wu, Hong Cheu Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

A novel amphiphilic aggregation-induced emission (AIE) copolymer, that is, poly(NIPAM-co-TPE-SP), consisting of N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM) as a hydrophilic unit and a tetraphenylethylene-spiropyran monomer (TPE-SP) as a bifluorophoric unit is reported. Upon UV exposure, the close form of non-emissive spiropyran (SP) in poly(NIPAM-co-TPE-SP) can be photo-switched to the open form of emissive merocyanine (MC) in poly(NIPAM-co-TPE-MC) in an aqueous solution, leading to ratiometric fluorescence of AIEgens between green TPE and red MC emissions at 517 and 627 nm, respectively, via Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET). Distinct FRET processes of poly(NIPAM-co-TPE-MC) can be observed under various UV and visible light irradiations, acid-base conditions, thermal treatments, and cyanide ion interactions, which are also confirmed by theoretical studies. The subtle perturbations of environmental factors, such as UV exposure, pH value, temperature, and cyanide ion, can be detected in aqueous media by distinct ratiometric fluorescence changes of the FRET behavior in the amphiphilic poly(NIPAM-co-TPE-MC). Moreover, the first FRET sensor polymer poly(NIPAM-co-TPE-MC) based on dual AIEgens of TPE and MC units is developed to show a very high selectivity and sensitivity with a low detection limit (LOD = 0.26 μM) toward the cyanide ion in water, which only contain an approximately 1% molar ratio of the bifluorophoric content and can be utilized in cellular bioimaging applications for cyanide detections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10959-10972
Number of pages14
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Volume12
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • aggregation-induced emission (AIE)
  • cyanide
  • Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)
  • spiropyran
  • tetraphenylethylene

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