Spermine (Spm) and spermidine (Spmd) are considered as potential biomarker for early diagnosis of human cancer. Herein, a novel acyclic cucurbituril derivative (UL-ACB) was firstly designed and synthesized, which fluoresces at 460nm after excitation at 365nm. UL-ACB is rich in oxygen atoms which are capable of forming coordinate bonds with copper (Cu2+) that cause quenching of UL-ACB fluorescence. Moreover, the addition of biological endogenous substances Spm and Spmd can turn on fluorescence of UL-ACB. Interestingly, the probe showed a remarkable detection efficiency for Spm and Spmd in human urine (the detection limits of Spm and Spmd were 0.156μM and 0.762μM, and the linear ranges are 0.156∼43.06μM and 0.762∼29.10μM), which completely covered the early diagnosis of urinary Spm (1∼10μM) and urine Spmd (1∼20μM) required concentration range in cancer patients. The probe for Spm and Spmd is simple, time-saving and selective, which may provide a new promising strategy for early cancer diagnosis.

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