Insight into dual fluorescence effects induced by molecular aggregation occurring in membrane model systems containing 1,3,4-thiadiazole derivatives

This work reports on biophysical insights into the excited state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) processes taking place in three 1,3,4-thiadiazole derivatives that served as model compounds, on which electronic absorption, fluorescence, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) studies were performed. The fluorescence spectra recorded in various solvents revealed an interesting dual fluorescence effect. In molecules in their monomeric form, the effect is associated with the ESIPT phenomenon, and may be further enhanced by aggregation-related effects, such as aggregation-induced emissions. Other spectroscopic studies on the selected molecules in a liposomal medium as a model revealed that, in a biomimetic environment, they can exist in both monomeric and aggregated forms. In both cases, however, the effects observed are closely related to the lipid’s main phase transition temperature and the structure of the molecule. Introduction of specific substituents to the phenyl moiety either allows or prevents proton transfer from occurring in the excited state. The hydrophobicity changes in a lipid environment may result in an emergence of specific molecular forms and therefore either facilitate or hinder ESIPT processes. SPR and EIS confirmed the significant hydrophobicity changes in the model lipid systems, while FTIR measurements revealed a notable influence of 1,3,4thiadiazoles on the fluidity of liposomal membranes. The results obtained clearly show that the thiadiazole derivatives are very good model molecules for studying hydrophobic-hydrophilic environments, and particularly with polymers or liposomes used as drug delivery systems.

Publication year: 2021
Authors: David M. 1, Budziak-Wieczorek I. 2, Karcz D. 3, Florescu M. 1, Matwijczuk A. 4

1 – Faculty of Medicine, Transilvania University of Brașov, 500019, Brașov, Romania
2 – Department of Chemistry, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, 20-950, Lublin, Poland
3 – Department of Chemical Technology and Environmental Analytics (C1), Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Cracow University of Technology, Warszawska 24, 31-155, Kraków, Poland
4 – Department of Biophysics, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Lublin, Poland

Published in: European Biophysics Journal, 2021, Vol. 50, p. 1083–1101
DOI: 10.1007/s00249-021-01569-7


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