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Kostov, Y., Kermis H.R.,Rao G. (2003) Rapid method for the preparation of a robust optical pH sensor. The Analysis. 128 1181–1186


A simple and rapid method for the preparation of a fluorescence-based optical pH sensor is described. The sensor is based on excitation ratiometric detection of a methacryloyl-modified analog of the well-known fluorescent pH indicator dye, 8-hydroxy-1,3,6-pyrene trisulfonic acid (HPTS). The modified dye, 6-methacryloyl-8-hydroxy-1,3-pyrene disulfonic acid (MA-HPDS), is similar in structure and function to HPTS. However, unlike HPTS, the presence of the methacrylate moiety allows MA-HPDS to participate as a comonomer in a free radical polymerization reaction. Covalent immobilization by this method is simple, as the preparation of the modified dye is accomplished in a single reaction step and its subsequent reaction with a comonomer results in simultaneous immobilization and purification. Sensors were prepared by copolymerization of the MA-HPDS with poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate. Minimal leaching of the immobilized dye was observed from the HPDS–PEG matrix. The copolymer of HPDS and PEG-DA is fully autoclavable. The sensor is useful over the pH range of 6–9, with excellent reproducibility. Ionic strength effects on the apparent pKa of the immobilized dye are small and predictable.

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