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Amino acid recognition by a fluorescent chemosensor based on cucurbit[8]uril and acridine hydrochloride

Xu, Weitao; Feng, Huaming; Zhao, Weiwei; Huang, Chunhua; Redshaw, Carl; Tao, Zhu; Xiao, Xin


Weitao Xu

Huaming Feng

Weiwei Zhao

Chunhua Huang

Profile Image

Professor Carl Redshaw
Professor of Inorganic Materials Chemistry and REF Lead for Chemistry

Zhu Tao

Xin Xiao


A new fluorescent chemosensor comprised of cucurbit[8]uril (Q[8]) and acridine hydrochloride (AC) has been designed and utilized for the recognition of amino acids. The AC was encapsulated by the Q[8] cavity and formed a 1:2 host-guest inclusion complex both in solution (aqueous) and in the solid-state. Whilst free AC is known to be strongly fluorescent, this strong fluorescence was quenched in the inclusion complex Q[8]-AC. This non-fluorescent complex Q[8]-AC was capable of serving as a fluorescence “off-on” probe, and was able to recognize either L-Phe or L-Trp via the competitive interaction between L-Phe or L-Trp. Moreover, the pH responsive nature of the probe allowed for the detection of basic amino acids, namely L-Arg, L-His, or L-Lys). As a result, a fluorescence method for the detection of five amino acids using a single system has been developed.


Xu, W., Feng, H., Zhao, W., Huang, C., Redshaw, C., Tao, Z., & Xiao, X. (2020). Amino acid recognition by a fluorescent chemosensor based on cucurbit[8]uril and acridine hydrochloride. Analytica Chimica Acta, 1135, 142-149.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 13, 2020
Online Publication Date Sep 25, 2020
Publication Date Oct 23, 2020
Deposit Date Sep 26, 2020
Publicly Available Date Sep 26, 2021
Journal Analytica Chimica Acta
Print ISSN 0003-2670
Electronic ISSN 1873-4324
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1135
Pages 142-149
Keywords Chemosensor; cucurbit[8]uril; Recognition; “Off-on” probe; pH-responsive
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