Highly sensitive fluorescence response to inclusion complex formation of berberine alkaloid with cucurbit[7]uril

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The effect of inclusion complex formation on the fluorescence properties of berberine, a clinically important natural alkaloid, was studied using cucurbit[7]uril as macrocyclic host compound. The formation of a very stable 1:1 inclusion complex led to about 500-fold fluorescence intensity enhancement, which facilitated the detection of berberine even below nanomolar concentration. Addition of NaCl caused a significant change in the association constant and the fluorescence characteristics of the complex, whereas the variation of the anion had a small effect. l-Alkyl-3-methylimidazolium type ionic liquids altered the fluorescent properties of the berberine-cucurbit[7]uril complex much more efficiently than did NaCl. Time-resolved fluorescence studies showed ternary complex formation. Because berberine fluorescence is insensitive to pH and increases substantially upon inclusion in cucurbit[7]uril, the reversible self-assembly of this host - guest pair may find analytical application in enzyme assays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3410-3416
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Mar 6 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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