Invited for this month’s cover are groups from the University of Aveiro and the University NOVA of Lisbon/Bioscope. The cover picture of the lighthouses of Barra (Aveiro) and Cabo Espichel (Lisbon) in Portugal represents the remarkable sensing ability of benzoporphyrin derivatives for Hg2+metal ions. These systems have high potential for use as chromogenic and fluorogenic sensors. Read the full text of the article onpage 1230.
1Our collaboration was established to exploit the expertise of the Aveiro group in the synthesis and functionalization of porphyrin derivatives as well as the skills of the Bioscope group in photophysical studies and development of new fluorescent chemosensors in the form of doped polymers having excellent emission properties.
What is the most significant result of this study?
The surprising ability of benzoporphyrin compounds, a π-extended porphyrin derivative, to detect Hg2+ in solution with a significant enhancement in the emission intensity. These compounds also showed the capacity to recognize metal cations when immobilized in PMMA films.
What prompted you to investigate this topic?
The need to develop new, efficient, and selective chemosensors for monitoring metal ions is important because of the increasing amount of metal-based pollutants in the environment. Detection of metal ions is also pertinent in biological processes because of the vital role that some metal ions such as Zn2+ play in living organisms.
What other topics are you working on at the moment?
Our two groups are interested in the development of new emissive and nanostructured materials based in porphyrinic derivatives for application as biomarkers, which can be attached in nanoparticles and nanomaterials.
We are grateful to the Universidade de Aveiro, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), FEDER, and Portuguese National NMR Network. We also thank the Xunta de Galicia (Spain) and Scientific PROTEOMASS Association (Portugal) for financial support. Nuno Moura, Cristina Núñez, and Sérgio Santos thank FCT/MEC for postdoctoral grants.