Chinese Journal of Polymer Science

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 365–371 | Cite as

Fluorescent detection of Cu(II) by chitosan-based AIE bioconjugate

  • Ya-lan Liu
  • Zheng-ke Wang (王征科)
  • Wei Qin
  • Qiao-ling Hu (胡巧玲)
  • Ben Zhong Tang (唐本忠)


Detection of Cu(II) is very important in disease diagnose, biological system detection and environmental monitoring. Previously, we found that the product TPE-CS prepared by attaching the chromophores of tetraphenylethylene (TPE) to the chitosan (CS) chains showed excellent fluorescent properties. In this study, we tried to use TPE-CS for detecting Cu(II) because of the stable complexation of CS with heavy metals and the luminosity mechanism of the Restriction of Intramolecular Rotations (RIR) for aggregation-induced emission (AIE)-active materials. The fluorescence intensity changed when TPE-CS was contacted with different metal ions, to be specific, no change for Na+, slightly increase for Hg2+, Pb2+, Zn2+, Cd2+, Fe2+, Fe3+ due to the RIR caused by the complexation between CS and metal ions. However, for Cu2+, an obvious fluorescence decrease was observed because of the Photoinduced-Electron-Transfer (PET). Moreover, we found that the quenched FL intensity of TPE-CS was proportional to the concentration of Cu(II) in the range of 5 μmol/L to 100 μmol/L, which provided a new way to quantitatively detect Cu(II). Besides, TPE-CS has excellent water-solubility as well as absorbability (the percentage of removal, R = 84%), which is an excellent detection probe and remover for Cu(II).


Aggregation-induced emission Chitosan Cu(II) Fluorescent detection 


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Copyright information

© Chinese Chemical Society, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Macromolecular Synthesis and Functionalization, Department of Polymer Science and EngineeringZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Adsorption and Separation Materials & Technologies of Zhejiang ProvinceHangzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry, Hong Kong Branch of Chinese National Engineering Research Center for Tissue Restoration and ReconstructionHong Kong University of Science and TechnologyClear Water Bay, Hong KongChina

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