A simple fluorescent pH probe and its application in cells

  • Jian-bin ChaoEmail author
  • Ming Li
  • Yong-bin Zhang
  • Cai-xia Yin
  • Fang-jun Huo
Original Paper


It is very important to measure the pH in the cells because abnormal pH in the body can cause many neurological diseases. In this work, a simple emission fluorescent pH probe 2-(benzothiazol-2-yl)-1-((pyren-3-yl) methylene) hydrazine (BMH) was synthesized by connecting pyrene-1-carboxaldehyde and 2-hydrazinobenzothiazole. BMH displayed fluorescence emission characteristics in which the pKa was 3.49 and responded linearly to measure pH range from 4.70 to 3.16. Meanwhile, it possessed high fluorescence quantum yield (64.60%). Moreover, BMH exhibited good stability and highly selectivity which promotes its ability in analytical application and the detection limit of approach was 0.41 μΜ. Simultaneously, it was fully able to image pH fluctuations due to its cell membrane permeability, biocompatibility and no auto-fluorescence effects.


pH probe Fluorescence characteristics Large stokes shift Image pH fluctuations 



The work was supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21472118, 21672131), the Program for the Top Young and Middle-aged Innovative Talents of Higher Learning Institutions of Shanxi (No. 2013802), Talents Support Program of Shanxi Province (No. 2014401), Shanxi Province Outstanding Youth Fund (No. 2014021002), Natural Science Foundation of Shanxi Province of China (No. 201701D121018).


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Copyright information

© Institute of Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jian-bin Chao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ming Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yong-bin Zhang
    • 4
  • Cai-xia Yin
    • 3
  • Fang-jun Huo
    • 4
  1. 1.Scientific Instrument CenterShanxi UniversityTaiyuanChina
  2. 2.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringShanxi UniversityTaiyuanChina
  3. 3.Institute of Molecular ScienceShanxi UniversityTaiyuanChina
  4. 4.Research Institute of Applied ChemistryShanxi UniversityTaiyuanChina

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