BODIPY-based nanomicelles as near-infrared fluorescent “turn-on” sensors for biogenic thiols

Ling Huang, Ran Duan, Zhanjun Li, Yuanwei Zhang, Jianzhang Zhao, Gang Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We report novel, aqueous, soluble, distyryl boron dipyrromethene (BODIPY)-containing nanomicelles as biogenic thiol sensors with near-infrared (NIR) “turn-on” properties. The average hydrodynamic diameter of these nanomicelles is 30 nm. They show good photostability, are selective towards biogenic thiols, and function within a broad pH window (pH 3–10). Near-infrared-emitting distyryl- BODIPY was chemically linked to fluorescence quencher group of 2,4-dinitrobenzenesulfonyl (DNBS) and was then water solubilized and formed into nanomicelles via polylactic acid-polyethylene glycol (PLA-PEG) encapsulation. When thiols react with the DNBS moiety, we observe subsequent recovery of distyryl-BODIPY fluorescence both in vitro and in living cells. This work provides a simple and general method to construct intracellular nanoprobes for biogenic thiols and may pave the way to the development other fluorescence-dye-based sensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-399
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Materials Chemistry


  • Fluorescence
  • Nanomicelles
  • Sensors
  • Thiols


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