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Dual-modal SERS/fluorescence AuNP probe for mitochondrial imaging

Eling, Charlotte J.; Price, Thomas W.; Marshall, Addison R. L.; Narda?Viscomi, Francesco; Robinson, Peter; Firth, George; Adawi, Ali M.; Bouillard, Jean-Sebastien G.; Stasiuk, Graeme J.


Charlotte J. Eling

Thomas W. Price

Addison R. L. Marshall

Francesco Narda?Viscomi

George Firth

Graeme J. Stasiuk


A novel SERS/fluorescent multimodal imaging probe for mitochondria has been synthesised using 12 nm diameter gold nanoparticles (AuNP) surface functionalised with a rhodamine thiol derivative ligand. The normal pH dependant acidic fluorescence of the rhodamine based ligand is inversed when conjugated with the AuNP and higher emission intensity is observed at basic pH. This switch correlates to a pKa at pH 6.62, which makes it an ideal candidate for a pH sensitive imaging probe in the biological range (6.5-7.4). The observed pH sensitivity when attached to the AuNP is thought to be due to the formation of a spirolactam ring on the ligand, going from positively charged (+18 mV) to negatively charged (-60 mV) as the pH is changed from acidic to basic. Additionally, conjugation of the ligand to the AuNP serves to enhance the Raman signal of the rhodamine ligand through Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS). Confocal microscopy has shown that the probe enters HEK293 (kidney), A2780 (ovarian cancer) and Min6 (pancreatic beta) cells within an hour and a half incubation time. The probe was shown to localise in the mitochondria, thus providing a novel pH dependent SERS/fluorescent multimodal imaging probe for mitochondria.


Eling, C. J., Price, T. W., Marshall, A. R. L., Narda Viscomi, F., Robinson, P., Firth, G., …Stasiuk, G. J. (2017). Dual-modal SERS/fluorescence AuNP probe for mitochondrial imaging. ChemPlusChem, 82(5), 674-680.

Acceptance Date Jan 9, 2017
Online Publication Date Jan 31, 2017
Publication Date May 1, 2017
Deposit Date Jan 20, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jan 31, 2017
Journal ChemPlusChem
Print ISSN 2192-6506
Electronic ISSN 2192-6506
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 82
Issue 5
Pages 674-680
Keywords Gold nanoparticle, Rhodamine, Cellular imaging, Optical imaging, Raman
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the unedited and not proof read version of an article accepted for publication in: ChemPlusChem.


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