We recently implemented highly sensitive detection systems for photo-sensitizing potassium ions (K+) based on two-step Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET). As a successive study for quantitative understanding of energy transfer processes in terms of the exciton population, we investigated the fluorescence decay dynamics in conjugated polymers and an aptamer-based 6-carboxyfluorescein (6-FAM)/6-carboxytetramethylrhodamine (TAMRA) complex. In the presence of K+ ions, the Guanine-rich aptamer enabled efficient two-step resonance energy transfer from conjugated polymers to dyed pairs of 6-FAMand TAMRAthrough the G-quadruplex phase. Although the fluorescence decay time of TAMRA barely changed, the fluorescence intensity was significantly increased. We also found that 6-FAM showed a decreased exciton population due the compensation of energy transfer to TAMRA by FRET from conjugated polymers, but a fluorescence quenching also occurred concomitantly. Consequently, the fluorescence intensity of TAMRA showed a 4-fold enhancement, where the initial transfer efficiency (~300%) rapidly saturated within ~0.5 ns and the plateau of transfer efficiency (~230%) remained afterward.
- Potassium ion detection
- Time-resolved photoluminescence
- Two-step FRET
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Polymers and Plastics