Journal article

Optimising molecular rotors to AIE fluorophores for mitochondria uptake and retention

Tze Cin OwYong, Siyang Ding, Na Wu, Thomas Fellowes, Sijie Chen, Jonathan M White, Wallace WH Wong, Yuning Hong

Chemical Communications | ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY | Published : 2020

Abstract

Molecular rotors exhibit fluorescence enhancement in a confined environment and thus have been used extensively in biological imaging. However, many molecular rotors suffer from small Stokes shift and self-aggregation caused quenching. In this work, we have synthesised a series of red emissive molecular rotors based on cationic α-cyanostilbene. Profoundly enhanced aggregation-induced emission (AIE) properties and greatly widened Stokes shifts can be achieved by molecular engineering. With specificity to stain mitochondria, we demonstrate a simple approach to achieve cell uptake and retention upon tuning the pyridinium substituent of the dyes.

Grants

Awarded by Australian Research Council


Awarded by Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Research Foundation


Awarded by Australia-China Science and Research Fund-Joint Research Centre for Personal Health Technologies


Awarded by WWHW (Australian Research Council)


Funding Acknowledgements

We thank LIMS Bioimaging Platform, La Trobe University for the access to confocal microscope and the Bio21 Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Facility for technical support and access to mass spectrometers. This work was supported by grants to Y. H. (Australian Research Council DE170100058, Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Research Foundation PG2018043, and Australia-China Science and Research Fund-Joint Research Centre for Personal Health Technologies ACSRF65777) and WWHW (Australian Research Council CE170100026).