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Intracellular Fe3+ amount is one of the critical determinants of human health. The development of simple and effective probes for the quantitative detection of Fe3+in vivo is of great significance for the early diagnosis of disease or disorder associated with iron deficiency or overload. In this study, remarkable carbon dots, which can serve as a biosensor for efficient intracellular Fe3+ detection, were synthesized by hydrothermal carbonization of Fusobacterium nucleatum, an anaerobic bacterium. The achieved F. nucleatum-carbon dots (Fn-CDs) possessed the features of strong fluorescence, high stability and excellent biocompatibility. The obtained Fn-CDs could easily internalize into both plant cells and human cells with excellent ability for cell tracking and biomedical labeling. The fluorescence of Fn-CDs could still remain for another 24 hours after penetrating into cells. Furthermore, the fluorescent Fn-CDs were very sensitive to the presence of Fe3+ ions even in cells, exhibiting great promising applications in in vivo detection of Fe3+ ions. In addition, the Fn-CDs posed no harm to the mice, being circulated and excreted within a short time, making the Fn-CDs an excellent candidate for bioimaging and biosensing in vivo.


Lijuan Liu, Shengting Zhang, Xiaodan Zheng, Hongmei Li, Qi Chen, Kunhao Qin, Yafang Ding, Yunlin Wei. Carbon dots derived from Fusobacterium nucleatum for intracellular determination of Fe3+ and bioimaging both in vitro and in vivo. Analytical methods : advancing methods and applications. 2021 Mar 11;13(9):1121-1131

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PMID: 33591301

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