Oligothiophene Amphiphiles as Planarizable and Polarizable Fluorescent Membrane Probes


  • We thank D. Bassani (Bordeaux) and E. Vauthey (Geneva) for advise, D. Jeannerat, A. Pinto, and S. Grass for NMR measurements, the Sciences Mass Spectrometry (SMS) platform for mass spectrometry services, and the University of Geneva, the European Research Council (ERC Advanced Investigator), the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) in Chemical Biology, and the Swiss NSF for financial support.


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Lessons from lobster coloration and the chemistry of vision suggested an approach to responsive fluorescent probes that can sense membrane potential, fluidity, and tension. Fluorophore deplanarization by lateral crowding along the scaffold (red circles) and fluorophore polarization by terminal donors (D), acceptors (A), and charges (+) are coupled to provide such membrane probes, as studies with unilamellar vesicles of phospholipids (DOPC, DPPC) show.