AIEgen-based nanoprobe for the ATP sensing and imaging in cancer cells and embryonic stem cells

Na Hee Kim, Byeong Wook Kim, Heechang Moon, Hajung Yoo, Rae Hyung Kang, Junho K. Hur, Yohan Oh, B. Moon Kim, Dokyoung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A turn-on fluorescent nanoprobe (named AAP-1), based on an aggregation-induced emission luminogen (AIEgen), is disclosed for the detection of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is an essential element in the biological system. Organic fluorophore (named TPE-TA) consists of tetraphenylethylene (TPE, sensing and signaling moiety) and mono-triamine (TA, sensing moiety), and it forms an aggregated form in aqueous media as a nanoprobe AAP-1. The nanoprobe AAP-1 has multiple electrostatic interactions as well as hydrophobic interactions with ATP, and it displays superior selectivity toward ATP, reliable sensitivity, with a detection limit around 0.275 ppb, and fast responsive (signal within 10 s). Such a fluorescent probe to monitor ATP has been actively pursued throughout fundamental and translational research areas. In vitro assay and a successful cellular ATP imaging application was demonstrated in cancer cells and embryonic stem cells. We expect that our work warrants further ATP-related studies throughout a variety of fields.

Original languageEnglish
Article number338269
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
StatePublished - 2021 Apr 1


  • Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
  • Aggregation-induced emission (AIE)
  • Cellular imaging
  • Fluorescent probes
  • Nanoprobe

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