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Luminescent/Colorimetric Probes and Sensors

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020) | Viewed by 28910

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Physical Chemistry, University of Granada, Unidad de Excelencia en Quimica Aplicada a Biomedicina y Medioambiente (UEQ), Cartuja Campus, 18071 Granada, Spain
Interests: fluorescence; FLIM; photochemistry; photobiology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Argentinian National Research Council, CONICET and National University of General San Martín, UNSAM, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Interests: photochemistry; photobiology; luminescence; reactive oxygen species; targeted drug delivery; photovoltaic solar cells

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Guest Editor
Department of Physical Chemistry, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain
Interests: luminescence; probes; sensors; chemical biology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The recognition of environmentally and, especially, biologically relevant species such asanions, cations, thiols, and essential cellular components to detect diseases and so on, has been an important area of research in recent years. Luminescent and colorimetric probes as sensors have attracted much attention because of their advantages, such as their high selectivity and sensitivity, non-destruction of the sample, prompt detection of analytes, low-cost, simplicity, and naked-eye detection (in the case of colorimetric probes).

Compared with other analytical tools, fluorescent and colorimetric probes have made enormous progress during recent decades. For example, in the biological field, where imaging plays a big role, recent progress is focussed on near IR (NIR) and two-photon fluorescent probes, as well as on luminescent long-wavelength probes, because of the low scattering of excitation and emission light, low levels of autofluorescence in most biological systems, and less disturbance and photodamage caused to cells and living organisms.

This Special Issue aims at presenting the latest technologies and methodologies that have been developed in fluorescence and colorimetric  fields. The included topics are as follows:

  • Colorimetric/luminescent sensors towards metal cations, anions, and biomolecules
  • Fluorescent biosensors
  • Internal charge transfer (ICT)-based fluorescent sensors
  • Forster resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based fluorescent sensors
  • Excited-state intra-/extra-molecular proton transfer (ESPT)-based fluorescent sensors
  • Aggregation-induced enhancement (AIE)-based fluorescent sensors
  • Photo-induced electron transfer (PET)-based fluorescent sensors
  • Chelation-enhancedfluorescentsensors (CHEF)

Dr. Luis Crovetto
Dr.Franco M. Cabrerizo
Dr.Juan Antonio González Vera
Guest Editors

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 1885 KiB  
Article
Tetramethylbenzidine: An Acoustogenic Photoacoustic Probe for Reactive Oxygen Species Detection
by Roger Bresolí-Obach, Marcello Frattini, Stefania Abbruzzetti, Cristiano Viappiani, Montserrat Agut and Santi Nonell
Sensors 2020, 20(20), 5952; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20205952 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4650
Abstract
Photoacoustic imaging is attracting a great deal of interest owing to its distinct advantages over other imaging techniques such as fluorescence or magnetic resonance image. The availability of photoacoustic probes for reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) could shed light on a plethora [...] Read more.
Photoacoustic imaging is attracting a great deal of interest owing to its distinct advantages over other imaging techniques such as fluorescence or magnetic resonance image. The availability of photoacoustic probes for reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) could shed light on a plethora of biological processes mediated by these key intermediates. Tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) is a non-toxic and non-mutagenic colorless dye that develops a distinctive blue color upon oxidation. In this work, we have investigated the potential of TMB as an acoustogenic photoacoustic probe for ROS/RNS. Our results indicate that TMB reacts with hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, singlet oxygen, and nitrogen dioxide to produce the blue oxidation product, while ROS, such as the superoxide radical anion, sodium peroxide, hydroxyl radical, or peroxynitrite, yield a colorless oxidation product. TMB does not penetrate the Escherichia coli cytoplasm but is capable of detecting singlet oxygen generated in its outer membrane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Luminescent/Colorimetric Probes and Sensors)
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15 pages, 3046 KiB  
Article
Functionalized Fluorescent Silica Nanoparticles for Bioimaging of Cancer Cells
by Ruth Prieto-Montero, Alberto Katsumiti, Miren Pilare Cajaraville, Iñigo López-Arbeloa and Virginia Martínez-Martínez
Sensors 2020, 20(19), 5590; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20195590 - 29 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3276
Abstract
Functionalized fluorescent silica nanoparticles were designed and synthesized to selectively target cancer cells for bioimaging analysis. The synthesis method and characterization of functionalized fluorescent silica nanoparticles (50–60 nm), as well as internalization and subcellular localization in HeLa cells is reported here. The dye, [...] Read more.
Functionalized fluorescent silica nanoparticles were designed and synthesized to selectively target cancer cells for bioimaging analysis. The synthesis method and characterization of functionalized fluorescent silica nanoparticles (50–60 nm), as well as internalization and subcellular localization in HeLa cells is reported here. The dye, rhodamine 101 (R101) was physically embedded during the sol–gel synthesis. The dye loading was optimized by varying the synthesis conditions (temperature and dye concentration added to the gel) and by the use of different organotriethoxysilanes as a second silica precursor. Additionally, R101, was also covalently bound to the functionalized external surface of the silica nanoparticles. The quantum yields of the dye-doped silica nanoparticles range from 0.25 to 0.50 and demonstrated an enhanced brightness of 230–260 fold respect to the free dye in solution. The shell of the nanoparticles was further decorated with PEG of 2000 Da and folic acid (FA) to ensure good stability in water and to enhance selectivity to cancer cells, respectively. In vitro assays with HeLa cells showed that fluorescent nanoparticles were internalized by cells accumulating exclusively into lysosomes. Quantitative analysis showed a significantly higher accumulation of FA functionalized fluorescent silica nanoparticles compared to nanoparticles without FA, proving that the former may represent good candidates for targeting cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Luminescent/Colorimetric Probes and Sensors)
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19 pages, 4884 KiB  
Article
Oxygen- and pH-Dependent Photophysics of Fluorinated Fluorescein Derivatives: Non-Symmetrical vs. Symmetrical Fluorination
by Ciaran K. McLoughlin, Eleni Kotroni, Mikkel Bregnhøj, Georgios Rotas, Georgios C. Vougioukalakis and Peter R. Ogilby
Sensors 2020, 20(18), 5172; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20185172 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3199
Abstract
Fluorescein, and derivatives of fluorescein, are often used as fluorescent probes and sensors. In systems where pH is a variable, protonation/deprotonation of the molecule can influence the pertinent photophysics. Fluorination of the xanthene moiety can alter the molecule’s pKa such as [...] Read more.
Fluorescein, and derivatives of fluorescein, are often used as fluorescent probes and sensors. In systems where pH is a variable, protonation/deprotonation of the molecule can influence the pertinent photophysics. Fluorination of the xanthene moiety can alter the molecule’s pKa such as to render a probe whose photophysics remains invariant over a wide pH range. Di-fluorination is often sufficient to accomplish this goal, as has been demonstrated with compounds such as Oregon Green in which the xanthene moiety is symmetrically difluorinated. In this work, we synthesized a non-symmetrical difluorinated analog of Oregon Green which we call Athens Green. We ascertained that the photophysics and photochemistry of Athens Green, including the oxygen-dependent photophysics that results in the sensitized production of singlet oxygen, O2(a1Δg), can differ appreciably from the photophysics of Oregon Green. Our data indicate that Athens Green will be a more benign fluorescent probe in systems that involve the production and removal of O2(a1Δg). These results expand the available options in the toolbox of fluorescein-based fluorophores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Luminescent/Colorimetric Probes and Sensors)
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12 pages, 2332 KiB  
Article
A FRET Based Two-Photon Fluorescent Probe for Visualizing Mitochondrial Thiols of Living Cells and Tissues
by Zhengkun Liu, Qianqian Wang, Hao Wang, Wenting Su and Shouliang Dong
Sensors 2020, 20(6), 1746; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20061746 - 21 Mar 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3015
Abstract
Glutathione (GSH) is the main component of the mitochondrial thiol pool and plays key roles in the biological processes. Many evidences have suggested that cysteine and homocysteine also exist in mitochondria and are interrelated with GSH in biological systems. The fluctuation of the [...] Read more.
Glutathione (GSH) is the main component of the mitochondrial thiol pool and plays key roles in the biological processes. Many evidences have suggested that cysteine and homocysteine also exist in mitochondria and are interrelated with GSH in biological systems. The fluctuation of the levels of mitochondrial thiols has been linked to many diseases and cells’ dysfunction. Therefore, the monitoring of mitochondrial thiol status is of great significance for clinical studies. We report here a novel fluorescence resonance energy transfer based two-photon probe MT-1 for mitochondrial thiols detection. MT-1 was constructed by integrating the naphthalimide moiety (donor) and rhodamine B (accepter and targeting group) through a newly designed linker. MT-1 shows a fast response, high selectivity, and sensitivity to thiols, as well as a low limit of detection. The two-photon property of MT-1 allows the direct visualization of thiols in live cells and tissues by two-photon microscopy. MT-1 can serve as an effective tool to unravel the diverse biological functions of mitochondrial thiols in living systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Luminescent/Colorimetric Probes and Sensors)
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10 pages, 3140 KiB  
Article
A GSH Fluorescent Probe with a Large Stokes Shift and Its Application in Living Cells
by Yueyuan Mao, Yediao Xu, Zhi Li, Yang Wang, Huanhuan Du, Lei Liu, Ran Ding and Guodong Liu
Sensors 2019, 19(24), 5348; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19245348 - 04 Dec 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3053
Abstract
Intracellular GSH is the most abundant non-protein biothiol and acts as a central antioxidant to defend against aging toxins and radicals. Meanwhile abnormal level of intracellular GSH concentration is directly related to some diseases. In this case, detecting intracellular GSH rapidly and sensitively [...] Read more.
Intracellular GSH is the most abundant non-protein biothiol and acts as a central antioxidant to defend against aging toxins and radicals. Meanwhile abnormal level of intracellular GSH concentration is directly related to some diseases. In this case, detecting intracellular GSH rapidly and sensitively is of great significance. We synthesize a simple fluorescent probe (named GP) which can discriminate GSH from Cys (cysteine) or Hcy (homocysteine) and presents a 50-fold fluorescence increasing. The response time of GP to GSH was only 5 min and the product GO (the product of GP after reacting with GSH) after reacting with GSH possesses a larger Stokes shift for 135 nm than that in reported work. Probe GP can detect intracellular effectively and shows obvious yellow fluorescence. Briefly, probe GP can detect intracellular GSH rapidly and effectively both in vitro and in living cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Luminescent/Colorimetric Probes and Sensors)
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16 pages, 4418 KiB  
Article
A Quantum Dot-Based FLIM Glucose Nanosensor
by Consuelo Ripoll, Angel Orte, Lorena Paniza and Maria Jose Ruedas-Rama
Sensors 2019, 19(22), 4992; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19224992 - 16 Nov 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4186
Abstract
In the last few years, quantum dot (QD) nanoparticles have been employed for bioimaging and sensing due to their excellent optical features. Most studies have used photoluminescence (PL) intensity-based techniques, which have some drawbacks, especially when working with nanoparticles in intracellular media, such [...] Read more.
In the last few years, quantum dot (QD) nanoparticles have been employed for bioimaging and sensing due to their excellent optical features. Most studies have used photoluminescence (PL) intensity-based techniques, which have some drawbacks, especially when working with nanoparticles in intracellular media, such as fluctuations in the excitation power, fluorophore concentration dependence, or interference from cell autofluorescence. Some of those limitations can be overcome with the use of time-resolved spectroscopy and fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) techniques. In this work, CdSe/ZnS QDs with long decay times were modified with aminophenylboronic acid (APBA) to achieve QD-APBA conjugates, which can act as glucose nanosensors. The attachment of the boronic acid moiety on the surface of the nanoparticle quenched the PL average lifetime of the QDs. When glucose bonded to the boronic acid, the PL was recovered and its lifetime was enhanced. The nanosensors were satisfactorily applied to the detection of glucose into MDA-MB-231 cells with FLIM. The long PL lifetimes of the QD nanoparticles made them easily discernible from cell autofluorescence, thereby improving selectivity in their sensing applications. Since the intracellular levels of glucose are related to the metabolic status of cancer cells, the proposed nanosensors could potentially be used in cancer diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Luminescent/Colorimetric Probes and Sensors)
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Review

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33 pages, 10081 KiB  
Review
Clinical Applications of Visual Plasmonic Colorimetric Sensing
by Elba Mauriz
Sensors 2020, 20(21), 6214; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20216214 - 30 Oct 2020
Cited by 47 | Viewed by 6497
Abstract
Colorimetric analysis has become of great importance in recent years to improve the operationalization of plasmonic-based biosensors. The unique properties of nanomaterials have enabled the development of a variety of plasmonics applications on the basis of the colorimetric sensing provided by metal nanoparticles. [...] Read more.
Colorimetric analysis has become of great importance in recent years to improve the operationalization of plasmonic-based biosensors. The unique properties of nanomaterials have enabled the development of a variety of plasmonics applications on the basis of the colorimetric sensing provided by metal nanoparticles. In particular, the extinction of localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) in the visible range has permitted the exploitation of LSPR colorimetric-based biosensors as powerful tools for clinical diagnostics and drug monitoring. This review summarizes recent progress in the biochemical monitoring of clinical biomarkers by ultrasensitive plasmonic colorimetric strategies according to the distance- or the morphology/size-dependent sensing modes. The potential of colorimetric nanosensors as point of care devices from the perspective of naked-eye detection is comprehensively discussed for a broad range of analytes including pharmaceuticals, proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, bacteria, and viruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The practical suitability of plasmonic-based colorimetric assays for the rapid visual readout in biological samples, considering current challenges and future perspectives, is also reviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Luminescent/Colorimetric Probes and Sensors)
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