Hypochlorite-Activated Fluorescence Emission and Antibacterial Activities of Imidazole Derivatives for Biological Applications

Thanh Chung Pham, Van Nghia Nguyen, Yeonghwan Choi, Dongwon Kim, Ok Sang Jung, Dong Joon Lee, Hak Jun Kim, Myung Won Lee, Juyoung Yoon, Hwan Myung Kim, Songyi Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The ability to detect hypochlorite (HOCl/ClO) in vivo is of great importance to identify and visualize infection. Here, we report the use of imidazoline-2-thione (R1SR2) probes, which act to both sense ClO and kill bacteria. The N2C=S moieties can recognize ClO among various typical reactive oxygen species (ROS) and turn into imidazolium moieties (R1IR2) via desulfurization. This was observed through UV–vis absorption and fluorescence emission spectroscopy, with a high fluorescence emission quantum yield (ՓF = 43–99%) and large Stokes shift (∆v∼115 nm). Furthermore, the DIM probe, which was prepared by treating the DSM probe with ClO, also displayed antibacterial efficacy toward not only Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) but also methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and extended-spectrum ß-lactamase–producing Escherichia coli (ESBL-EC), that is, antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These results suggest that the DSM probe has great potential to carry out the dual roles of a fluorogenic probe and killer of bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Article number713078
JournalFrontiers in Chemistry
StatePublished - 12 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Pham, Nguyen, Choi, Kim, Jung, Lee, Kim, Lee, Yoon, Kim and Lee.


  • antibacterial effect
  • fluorescent sensor
  • fluorogenic probe
  • hypochlorite sensor
  • probe–killer


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