Fluorescence imaging has become an indispensable tool in the biomedical laboratory to elucidate the fundamental dynamic and structural factors regulating cellular processes. The development of fluorescent nanoprobes represents a challenge to detect any cellular process under a microscope. Herein, a fluorescent nanomaterial was synthesized by exploiting the supramolecular interaction between a halochromic switch (1Cl) and halloysite nanotubes (HNTs). The successful synthesis of a HNTs/1Cl nanomaterial was confirmed by thermogravimetric analysis and Fourier transform infrared. The aqueous mobility was investigated by dynamic light scattering and ζ-potential measurements as well. Furthermore, the morphology was imaged by transmission electron microscopy, and the interaction of the clay with 1Cl was also studied by kinetic adsorption measurements. In addition, the spectroscopy properties of the resulting nanomaterial were studied in solution and the solid state by UV-vis and fluorescence measurements. Finally, the ability of our nanomaterial to detect cancer cells was assessed with confocal laser scanning microscopy measurements on normal (hTERT) and/or tumoral cell lines (MCF-7 and HL-60R).
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