A diaminomaleonitrile-appended BODIPY chemosensor for the selective detection of Cu2+ via oxidative cyclization and imaging in SiHa cells and zebrafish
A specific Cu2+ sensor, 2-amino-3-(BODIPYmethyleneamino)maleonitrile (BDM), was established by a simple dehydration between BODIPY and diaminomaleonitrile. Cu2+ could be recognized by BDM over other competing metal ions in acetonitrile with distinct fluorescence emission signal response. Upon the addition of Cu2+ to BDM in acetonitrile, the maximum absorption at approximately 530 nm on the longer wavelength side was quenched, and the emission at 530 nm was ignited simultaneously. The fluorescence intensity enhancement could reach a maximum of 204 times the intensity of the BDM blank solution. The fluorescence "off-on" effect is established according to the Cu2+-induced fast intramolecular oxidative cyclization reaction, which could be deduced from the formation of an imidazole ring appended to the cyclization product (2-BODIPY-1H-imidazole-4,5-dicarbonitrile, BMC). Single-crystal structure analysis of the sensor BDM and cyclization product BMC further demonstrated this oxidative cyclization. Finally, the Cu2+ recognition property of BDM was validated in SiHa cells and living zebrafish. Additionally, the blood-brain barrier of the zebrafish can be penetrated by the BDM dye and the neuron cells in the brain were stained.