Molecular self-assemblies might discriminate the diffusion of chiral molecules
Biological tissue has many self-aligned anisotropic molecular organizations, which are able to undergo reversible orientational deformations and spatially transfer them. At the same time, the majority of drugs and many biologically important molecules contain chiral centers. It is therefore important to understand the factors affecting the diffusion of chiral molecules in such elastic environments. We experimentally study the diffusion of chiral molecules in a nematic liquid crystal host representing the model of biological tissue. The analogy of Cano's quantization effect is observed (due to the gradient of the chiral dopant) and used to estimate the corresponding diffusion coefficients. It is shown that thanks to the collective orientational correlation of host molecules the diffusion of chiral dopants is noticeably reduced (by a factor of ≈1.6) for the case of rigid alignment of host molecules compared to the case when the same matrix is free to adjust that alignment.