Anionic oligothiophenes : Optical tools for multimodal fluorescent assignment of protein aggregates
Sammanfattning: Luminescent conjugated oligothiophenes (LCOs) represent a useful and interesting class of materials well known for their abilities as transducers for colorimetric and fluorometric reporting. Specifically, they have the ability to produce a conformation-dependent spectral signature reflective of changes in their local environment. This physical property makes conjugated polymers an indispensible tool in the toolbox of fluorescent reporters used for distinguishing protein aggregates. Because fluorescence measurements provide a number of parameters for observing changes within a system (e.g., changes in intensity, wavelength, energy transfer, and emission lifetime), the coupling of such measurements with the unique fluorescence reporting capabilities of LCOs has been successful in a number of biological systems. The Nilsson group has demonstrated the use of both polydisperse and monodisperse conjugated polythiophenes for the purpose of amyloid protein aggregate detection both in vitro and ex vivo. My doctoral studies have included synthesis and the photophysical evaluation of pentameric substituted oligothiophenes for utilization as molecular probes for investigating the structure and conformation of amyloid protein aggregates. Through the synthesis of a library of pentameric probes with variations in side-chain substituents, we have studied the effects of pH, solvent, and viscosity on probe behavior and spectral shifts to elucidate the role of chemical structure on probe performance. Through a clearer understanding of the nature of LCOs and their individual chromic responses, we hope to provide researchers and clinicians additional tools for investigating and “bringing to light” the multifaceted nature of amyloids.
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