The development of
highly selective and sensitive fluorescent sensors has received
considerable attention owing to their utility in clarifying and
analyzing the roles of ions and biomolecules in living systems. A series
of water-soluble fluorescent sensors based on the pyridine-containing
tetraazamacrocycle were designed and synthesized, which show high
selectivity and sensitivity for ratiometric recognition Of Cu2 , Zn2 , Hg2 ,
pyrophosphate, calf thymus DNA and bovine serum albumin, respectively.
Wherein, an NBD-armed tetraazamacrocyclic fluorescent probe was
specifically localized in lysosomes and successfully applied to
visualize Cu2 as well as to monitor Cu2 level change in the lysosomes of living cells. A Zn2 tetraazamacrocycle complex bearing three naphthalene moieties
recognizes binds and causes damage to DNA, and shows considerable
cytotoxicity against human cancer cell lines with a different apoptotic
pathway from that of cisplatin.