A silica nanoparticle-based sensor for selective fluorescent detection of homocysteine via interaction differences between thiols and particle-surface-bound polymers.
ABSTRACT Biothiols play crucial roles in maintaining biological systems; among them, homocysteine (Hcy) has received increasing attention since elevated levels of Hcy have been implicated as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Hence, the selective detection of this specific biothiol, which is a disease-associated biomarker, is very important. In this paper, we demonstrate a new mesoporous silica nanoparticle-based sensor for selective detection of homocysteine from biothiols and other common amino acids. In this fluorescent sensing system, an anthracene nitroolefin compound was placed inside the mesopores of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) and used as a probe for thiols. The hydrophilic polyethylene glycol (PEG 5000) molecules were covalently bound to the MSN surface and used as a selective barrier for Hcy detection via different interactions between biothiols and the PEG polymer chains. The sensor can discriminate Hcy from the two low-molecular mass biothiols (GSH and Cys) and other common amino acids in totally aqueous media as well as in serum, with a detection limit of 0.1 μM. This strategy may offer an approach for designing other MSN-based sensing systems by using polymers as diffusion regulators in sensing assays for other analytes.
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ABSTRACT: We demonstrate a concept-proof work of using fluorescence (FL) "turn-on" probes for the discriminatory detection of cysteine (Cys) over homocysteine (Hcy). The fluorogens are provided with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) characteristic and functionalized with two aldehyde-groups (DMTPS-ALD and TPE-ALD). All the detections were carried out in a biocompatible medium (10 mM HEPES buffer and DMSO, pH 7.4). In principle, the formation of thiazinane/thiazolidine through the chemical reaction of aldehydes on the probe molecules and the residue of Cys/Hcy determines the selective recognition of Cys and Hcy over other amino acids and glucose. The FL responses originate from the AIE property of thiazinane/thiazolidine resultants, which have low solubility and precipitate (aggregate) in the detection medium. The discrimination between Cys and Hcy comes from the difference in reaction kinetics of TPE-ALD/DMTPS-ALD with Cys and Hcy, thereby the FL responses show different time courses and intensity enhancement. It is worth noting that TPE-ALD outshined the other two probes in performance with fast response, a high FL enhancement up to 16-fold, high sensitivity, and good specificity and selectivity. Moreover, its FL response threshold at 250 μM is very close to the lower limit of the normal level of Cys in human plasma, which implies that TPE-ALD could be applied as a potential indicator of Cys deficiency.Chemistry 11/2012; · 5.93 Impact Factor