Bulk Aggregation Based Fluorescence Turn-On Sensors for Selective Detection of Progesterone in Aqueous Solution

Seong Cheol Hong, Dhiraj P. Murale, Minju Lee, Seung Mi Lee, Joong Shin Park, Jun Seok Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Steroids are polycyclic compounds that share tetracyclic ring as core scaffold, and selective detection of a steroid is challenging owing to their structural similarities. The discovery of chemosensors that recognize progesterone by alteration of self-aggregation state is described, and these show significant fluorescence turn-on. A self-aggregated 48-membered dansyl library was screened against a series of metabolites in aqueous buffer and discovered two compounds (PG-1, PG-2) exhibited exceptional selectivity for progesterone. Following studies of aggregation properties of probes using dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy supports progesterone recognition lead to the generation of bulk aggregates that induce fluorescence enhancement. Though many fluorescence sensing mechanisms have been proposed, a sensing mode based on the bulk aggregate formation of fluorophore has never been reported, and this may open a new avenue of chemosensor design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14642-14647
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 13
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Valuable comments and discussion from Dr. S. H. Kim regarding self-aggregations of fluorophore and Dr. M. H. Choi about steroid sensing applications are really appreciated. This work was supported by intramural funding from KIST (2E26 110/CAP-16-02-KIST) and the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the National Research Foundation funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (NRF-2016M3A9B6902060, NRF-2017M3A9D8029942). D.P.M. is a recipient of Korea Research Fellowship Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) (2015H1D3A1036045).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


  • bulk aggregation
  • dansyl fluorophore
  • fluorescence sensors
  • progesterone
  • self-aggregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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