Issue 18, 2015

Using molecular rotors to probe gelation


A series of fluorescent probes, including a number of molecular rotors, have been used to follow the self-assembly of dipeptide-based low molecular weight gelators. We show that these probes can be used to gain an insight into the assembly process. Thioflavin T, a commonly used stain for β-sheets, appears to act as a molecular rotor in these gelling systems, with the fluorescence data closely matching that of other rotors. The molecular rotor was incorporated into an assay system with glucose oxidase to enable glucose-concentration specific gelation and hence generating a fluorescent output. Applying this system to urine from patients with various levels of glycosuria (a symptom of diabetes), it was found to provide excellent correlation with different clinical assessments of diabetes. This demonstrates a new concept in gelation-linked biosensing for a real clinical problem.

Graphical abstract: Using molecular rotors to probe gelation

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
24 Feb 2015
17 Mar 2015
First published
24 Mar 2015
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Soft Matter, 2015,11, 3706-3713

Author version available

Using molecular rotors to probe gelation

J. Raeburn, L. Chen, S. Awhida, R. C. Deller, M. Vatish, M. I. Gibson and D. J. Adams, Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 3706 DOI: 10.1039/C5SM00456J

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.

Social activity