A cancer labelling fluorescent probe was designed by Dr. Sankarprasad Bhuniya, Research Professor at Amrita Center for Industrial Research & Innovation and Amrita Center for Excellence in Advanced Materials and Green Technologies, Amrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore, along with Nithya Velusamy and Kondapa Naidu Bobba, Dr. Nandita Mishra, Assistant Professor, Amrita School of Biotechnology and PhD students Divya Nedungadi and Anupama Binoy.
The study has been recently published as a manuscript titled, "Cancer Cell Labeling by Detecting Mitochondrial Hydrogen Sulfide" in the Chemical Communications journal on July 17, 2017. The application of a chemodosimeter ‘turns on’ the fluorescent probe for detecting endogenous H2S formation in cancer cells. Mito-HS shows a bathochromic shift in UV-vis.-absorption spectrum from 355 nm to 395 nm in the presence of H2S. Furthermore, it showed ~ 43-fold fluorescence enhancement at λem 450 nm in the presence of H2S (200 µM). The cancer cell-specific fluorescence imaging reveals that Mito-HS has the ability for distinguishing cancer cells from normal cells based on the level of endogenous H2S formation. In due course, Mito-HS would be a powerful cancer biomarker based on its ability to estimate endogenous H2S formation in living cells.