A Selective and Sensitive Hg2+ Aminonaphthalimide-aza-crown-ether Cellular Chemosensor

27 February 2024, Version 3
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Crown ether ionophores linked to napthalimide fluorophores provide a powerful and versatile class of fluorescent chemosensors. Here we demonstrate the unusual Hg2+ ion selectivity of an aza-crown ether ionophore linked to a 4-aminonapthalimide by 1,4-phenylenediamine. Binding, computational, and fluorescence studies reveal an intramolecular charge transfer mechanism. The sensor demonstrates exceptional selectivity for Hg2+ in aqueous ethanol and detects both Hg2+and Zn2+ in aqueous acetonitrile. The sensor's Hg2+ sensitivity is retained in live cells at biologically relevant concentrations of Hg2+, making it a potentially versatile and convenient tool for environmental and biological assay and monitoring applications.


Turn-On Fluorescence
Mercury Sensing
In Vivo Sensing

Supplementary materials

Supplemental Information
Supplemental information including synthetic details and biological studies.


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