Photo- and electrochemical dual-responsive iridium probe for saccharide detection

Andrew Carrod, Francesco Graglia, Louise Male, Cecile Le Duff, Peter Simpson, Mohamed Elsherif, Zubair Ahmed, Haider Butt, Guang-Xi Xu, Kenneth Kam-Wing Lo, Paolo Bertoncello, Zoe Pikramenou

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Dual detection systems are of interest for rapid, accurate data collection in sensing systems and in vitro testing. We introduce an IrIII complex with a boronic acid receptor site attached to the 2-phenylpyridine ligand as an ideal probe with photo- and electrochemical signals that is sensitive to monosaccharide binding in aqueous solution. The complex displays orange luminescence at 618 nm, which is reduced by 70 and 40 % upon binding of fructose and glucose, respectively. The electro-chemiluminescent signal of the complex also shows a direct response to monosaccharide binding. The IrIII complex shows the same response upon incorporation into hydrogel matrices as in solution, thus demonstrating the potential of its integration into a device, as a nontoxic, simple-to-use tool to observe sugar binding over physiologically relevant pH ranges and saccharide concentrations. Moreover, the complex's luminescence is responsive to monosaccharide presence in cancer cells.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChemistry: A European Journal
Early online date22 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Nov 2021


  • electro-chemiluminescence
  • iridium
  • luminescence
  • probes
  • saccharides
  • sensors


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