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Red-emitting fluorescence probe for sensing viscosity in living cells

Hui Wang, Le Zhou, Fengze Cai, Xuebing Shen, Jianqiang Sun, Yan Wei, Dexiang Feng, Zhijun Feng, and Jing He

Department of Chemistry, Anhui Provincial Engineering Research Center for Polysaccharide Drugs, Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, People’s Republic of China



Received: 4 June 2019  Accepted: 24 September 2019


In this paper, we developed a red-emitting fluorescent probe TPSN based on triphenylamine-functionalized benzothiazole salts. TPSN exhibits a strong luminescence emission at about 637 nm in viscous media. Moreover, the fluorescence intensity of TPSN enhances approximately 94-fold from water to 99% glycerol. Cell imaging experiments reveals that TPSN presents high specificity for mitochondrial localization. The related mechanism study indicates that the localization property of TPSN is independent of the mitochondrial membrane potential. As a result, TPSN offers a promising tool to monitor the mitochondria viscosity in living cells.

Keywords: Benzothiazole salts; Triphenylamine; Viscosity; Mitochondrial; Mitochondrial membrane potential

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-019-00946-z


Chemical Papers 74 (4) 1071–1078 (2020)

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