Sodium-Selective Fluoroionophore-based Optodes for Seawater Salinity Measurements

Bernhard Müller, Tanja Rappitsch, Christoph Staudinger, Christian Rüschitz, Sergey Borisov*, Ingo Klimant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new fluorescent sensor for Na+ is presented. The sensor relies on a Na+ selective fluoroionophore based on a bright red-emitting BODIPY chromophore. The fluorescence of the fluoroionophore is enhanced upon binding of Na+-ions to the highly selective aza-crown ether receptor due to reduction of the photoinduced electron transfer (PET) quenching. Solid state sensing materials were prepared by physically embedding the fluoroionophore into water-swellable biocompatible polymer matrices (polyurethane hydrogels), thus enabling continuous measurements of aqueous samples. Despite the simple design, the sensor showed no leaching of the indicator and featured fast and reversible response. Among different polyurethane hydrogels investigated, the hydrogel D1 featuring the highest water uptake was found to be the most suitable due to the highest dynamics between "off" and "on" states. Due to little or no cross sensitivity to other ions (e.g., Mg2+, Ca2+, K+) and its insensitivity to potential changes in pH, this sensor is promising for use in clinical diagnostics and for biological and marine applications. Fiber-optic sensors based on referenced read-out with a compact phase fluorimeter were prepared. To demonstrate their practical applicability, the sensors were used to determine the salinity in the seawater and brackish water of the Baltic Sea.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7195-7202
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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