Fluorescence probes for the detection of biologically relevant species

  • Jordan Gardiner

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Detection of chemical species in physiological systems is of great importance in the research and investigation of human diseases. Fluorescence spectroscopy has proven itself as an essential tool for the study of targets in biological systems. It is a reliable method for the semi-quantitative analysis of target analytes and provides a near unprecedented level of spatial and temporal resolution. As such, there is a need for increased specificity and new modes of detection within the field of fluorescent probes which drives research and development in the area. An introduction to the background of fluorescence is given herein, with explanations of the common mechanisms of fluorescence. Then, analytes that are commonly targeted for detection and probes that have been designed to target them are exemplified. Three research chapters follow, describing the design, synthesis and analysis of new probes developed throughout this thesis. Coumarin, fluorescein and TCF fluorophores are used ascore units in each of the chapters formed. Probes that have been developed include MLGsfor dual analyte “AND” detection, that require the presence of two species for a signal tobe released. A coumarin-based triple analyte “AND” probe has also been developed thatrequired the presence of Glutamate, Zinc2+ and peroxynitrite (ONOO-), which has thepotential to detect diseased neurons in the brain. Single analyte TCF-based probes havealso been developed for the detection of ONOO and glutathione. A number of theseprobes have been studied in cellular systems and show great promise for use in the study ofhuman disease and revealing important information between the relationships of chemicals therein.
Date of Award4 Dec 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorTony James (Supervisor) & Jean Van Den Elsen (Supervisor)


  • Fluorescent Probes
  • Molecular Logic Gates

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