Upconversion Nanoprobes for the Ratiometric Luminescent Sensing of Nitric Oxide

Ningning Wang, Xinyan Yu, Ke Zhang*, Chad A. Mirkin, Jishan Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


By taking advantage of the optical properties of upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs), we have designed a luminescence ratiometric nanosensor for measuring nitric oxide (NO) in biological fluids, live cells, and tissues. This nanoconjugate consists of a UCNP core with two strong fluorescence emission peaks at 540 and 656 nm as the upconversion fluorophore, NO-reactive rhodamine B-derived molecules (RdMs) encapsulated within the mesopores of the mSiO2 shell, and a β-cyclodextrin (βCD) layer on the exterior of the particle. Reaction of the analyte with the O-phenylenediamine of the RdM induces opening of the spiro-ring and is accompanied by an appearance of a strong rhodamine B (RdB) absorption band between 500 and 600 nm, which has spectral overlap with the green emission (540 nm) of the UCNPs. This results in an increase in the I656/I540 ratio and quantitatively correlates with [NO]. The assay is validated under clean buffer conditions as well as inserum and liver tissue slices obtained from mouse models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12354-12357
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 13 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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