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Issue 16, 2020
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The effect of solvent polarity and macromolecular crowding on the viscosity sensitivity of a molecular rotor BODIPY-C10

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Abstract

Viscosity is the key parameter of many biological systems as it influences passive diffusion, affects the lipid raft formation and plays a significant role in several diseases on a cellular level. Consequently, determination of precise viscosity values is of great interest and viscosity-sensitive fluorescent probes offer a convenient solution for this task. One of the most frequently used viscosity-sensitive probes is BODIPY-C10. Yet despite its regular use, BODIPY-C10 remains insufficiently investigated. In this work, we explored how the polarity, hydrogen bonding abilities of the solvent and the presence of macromolecules affect the viscosity-sensing qualities of BODIPY-C10. In addition, we investigated the relaxation pathway of BODIPY-C10 with the help of femtosecond transient absorption and time-dependent DFT calculations. Our results show that while BODIPY-C10 is not affected by protic solvents, accurate quantitative determination of viscosity is possible only if BODIPY-C10 is calibrated in the same polarity environment as in the sample of interest, and the size of the surrounding molecules is not larger than the size of BODIPY-C10. The latter limitation is likely to apply to all molecular rotors.

Graphical abstract: The effect of solvent polarity and macromolecular crowding on the viscosity sensitivity of a molecular rotor BODIPY-C10

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
20 Dec 2019
Accepted
19 Feb 2020
First published
20 Feb 2020

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020,22, 8296-8303
Article type
Paper

The effect of solvent polarity and macromolecular crowding on the viscosity sensitivity of a molecular rotor BODIPY-C10

A. Polita, S. Toliautas, R. Žvirblis and A. Vyšniauskas, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020, 22, 8296
DOI: 10.1039/C9CP06865A

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