Sensitive and Direct Optical Monitoring of Release and Cellular Uptake of Aqueous CO from CO-Releasing Molecules

Yonghee Shin, Keumrai Whang, Jeong Ha Hwang, Yuseung Jo, Jeong Woo Choi, Junhee Park, Inhee Choi, Taewook Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Dynamics of release and cellular uptake of aqueous CO from CO-releasing molecules (CORMs) significantly affect signaling and cell viability. So far, it has been mainly observed by IR, UV-visible, and fluorescence techniques, which suffer from poor sensitivity and slow response time. Here, we show how to directly probe the mass transfer of aqueous CO from CORMs to cells using a fluidic chamber integrated with live cells and Raman reporters of large-area Au@Pd core-shell nanoparticle assembly to emulate a physiologically relevant microenvironment. We sensitively and directly detect CO release from trace CORMs of as low as 100 nM by measuring the Raman transitions of CO via rapid chemisorption onto the surface of the Au@Pd nanoparticles. By using our method, we successfully observe the dynamics of CO release from CORM-2 despite its very short half-life. We also reveal that the initial rate of CO release from CORM-3 is dramatically decreased by tens to hundreds of times when exposed to physiologically relevant pH variations from 7.4 to 2.5, which can be attributed to the acid hydrolysis of the CO ligand. CORM-2 tends to quickly release CO regardless of pH, probably because of its rapid cleavage into two monomeric Ru complexes by the co-solvent. The decrease in the initial rate at lower temperatures is more significant for CORM-3 than for CORM-2. Finally, we observe that the cellular uptake of aqueous CO from CORM-3 by lung cancer cells is approximately 2 times higher than that of normal lung cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9927-9932
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number28
StatePublished - 20 Jul 2021


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