We have developed a red-emitting fluorescent K + probe, B3TAC, which also shows a wavelength shift upon binding to K +. The probe was synthesized by conjugating a cryptand-based chelator, 2-triazacryptand [2,2,3-1-(2-methoxyethoxy)benzene (TAC), to position 3 of the BODIPY fluorophore through a styryl linker. In water-acetonitrile mixed solvent, it responded to K + in the physiological concentration range with high selectivity over Na + and other metal ions. B3TAC is potentially useful for measuring cellular K + ion concentration, as well as for simple, naked-eye detection of K + in solution.
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