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A highly selective fluorescent probe for the detection of exogenous and endogenous hypochlorous acid/hypochlorite

Huiqin Wei, Meixia Tan, Yitong Lin, Houzheng Chen, Xinyao Wu, Zhiqiang Zhang, and Fang Ke

Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, Interventional Catheter Room, Fuzhou, China



Received: 14 September 2022  Accepted: 2 December 2022


Hypochlorous acid/hypochlorite (HOCl/OCl) plays a crucial role in immune defense and other biological processes. A carbazole fluorescent probe, 9-ethyl-3-((2-(4-nitrophenyl)hydrazineylidene) methyl)-9H-carbazole (CZ-NH), was designed and synthesized for the detection of HOCl/OCl. After OCl was added, the fluorescence spectrum showed a strong absorption peak at 370 nm, and the fluorescence enhancement was nearly 500 times. The probe has strong selectivity for OCl, low detection limit 2.709 μM, non-toxicity to cells, good permeability and can be used for fluorescence imaging of exogenous and endogenous OCl, indicating that CZ-NH has potential biological application value. The probe CZ-NH was characterized by 1H NMR and 13C NMR. In addition, the recognition mechanism of OCl was verified by mass spectrometry and density functional theory (DFT).

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Hypochlorous acid; Carbazole; Fluorescence imaging

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-022-02618-x


Chemical Papers 77 (4) 2317–2325 (2023)

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