Tailoring tripodal ligands for zinc sensing

Zhaohua Dai, James W. Canary

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Zinc plays an important role in biological processes. It is implicated in many diseases, including those affecting the brain. Imaging zinc is becoming crucial to the elucidation of zinc concentration, distribution, kinetics and functions in cells and tissues. This review highlights recent advances in the development of picolylamine-based tripodal compounds as zinc sensors, especially our work in the field of sensing "invisible" Zn(II) using steady-state fluorescence, fluorescence lifetimes and chiroptical spectroscopy. Our approach has emphasized creative ligand design and detection schemes. Utilizing tris(2-pyridylmethyl)amine-based N4 tripodal ligands has provided a flexible system for engineering zinc sensors with improved sensitivity, selectivity and contrast. Also included are results with tripodal ligands that have focused more on applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1708-1718
Number of pages11
JournalNew Journal of Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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