The development of molecular sensors for detection of metal ions is an active research field with great potential for biomedical applications. It is well-known that the exposure to mercury can lead to many health problems, including neurological disorders such as the Minamata’s disease. Furthermore, iron plays a crucial role in physiological processes, however, its abnormal levels in human tissues had been related to diabetes mellitus and neurodegenerative disease, namely, Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, the efficient detection of these species is a timeless topic in several areas of investigation. 3-Difluoroborodipyrromethene (BODIPY) derivatives have become a cornerstone in the optical sensors field because of their advantageous features: high molar absorptivity, high quantum fluorescence yields, intense and narrow absorption/emission bands in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum and good photochemical stability. Moreover, the BODIPY core can be chemically modified to fine tune their optical properties and to attach suitable receptor groups selective to a particular target. Considering the above-mentioned facts as well as our research interest in BODIPY derivatives for several applications, particularly as optical chemosensors, we report herein a BODIPY fluorophore functionalized with a phenyl group at meso position for a selective response towards Fe3+. The chemosensing ability of the BODIPY derivative was investigated in acetonitrile in the presence of different ions, showing a selective fluorescence quenching upon Fe3+ interaction.
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