Fluorescent sensors based on boronic acids

Christopher J Cooper, Tony D James

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

1 Citation (SciVal)


Sensor systems have long been needed for detecting the presence in solution of certain chemically or biologically important species. Sensors are used in a wide range of applications from simple litmus paper that shows a single colour change in acidic or basic environments to complex biological assays that use enzymes, antibodies and antigens to display binding events. With this work the use of boronic acids in the design and synthesis of sensors for saccharides (diols) will be presented. The fluorescent sensory systems rely on photoinduced electron transfer (PET) to modulate the observed fluorescence. When saccharides form cyclic boronate eaters with boronic acids, the Lewis acidity of the boronic acid is enhanced and therefore the Lewis acid-base interaction between the boronic acid and a neighbouring amine is strengthened. The strength of this acid-base interaction modulates the PET from the amine (acting as a quencher) to anthracene (acting as a fluorophore). These compounds show increased fluorescence at neutral pH through suppression of the PET from nitrogen to anthracene on saccharide binding. The general strategy for the development of saccharide selective systems will be discussed. The potential of the boronic acid based systems will be illustrated using the development of glucose and glucosamine selective fluorescent sensors as examples.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Fluorescence Sensing Technology IV - Proceedings of SPIE
EditorsJ R Lakowicz, S A Soper, R B Thompson
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780819430724
Publication statusPublished - 1999


Dive into the research topics of 'Fluorescent sensors based on boronic acids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this