A stilbene derivative (2) with a push (Me2N-) and a pull ((HO)2B-) substituent at 4,4′-positions was synthesized. 2 aggregated in aqueous solution (water:DMSO = 30:1 v/v) but was dispersed nearly homogeneously in water:DMSO = 1:1 v/v. Spectroscopic studies established that 2 is useful to detect saccharides by both absorption and fluorescence spectroscopic methods. Particularly, in aqueous solution at pH 8.0 a large increase in the fluorescence intensity was observed upon complexation with D-fructose. This is a novel sugar sensing system using boronic acid as an interface.
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