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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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Article information


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

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020, Advance Article
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, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9CP06865A

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