New Family of Fluorescent Probes for Characterizing Depth-Dependent Static and Dynamic Properties of Lipid/Water Interfaces

  • Moirangthem Kiran Singh
  • Him Shweta
  • Sobhan SenEmail author
Part of the Springer Protocols Handbooks book series (SPH)


The important biological processes that help communicate between intra- and extracellular environments take place at cell membrane/water interface. However, molecular interactions at these interfaces are strongly affected by the depth-dependent hydration and local environmental polarity across the lipid/water interface and also the lipid ordering. A new family of membrane probes based on 4-aminophthalimide (4AP-Cn) have been synthesized, which are of particular interest here because of their extreme sensitivity towards sensing depth-dependent polarity, hydration and energy transfer dynamics at model lipid/water interfaces in sub-nanometre length scale. We envisage that these new probes will be extremely useful for characterizing the static and dynamic properties of naturally occurring membrane/water interfaces as well. This chapter presents the protocol for 4AP-Cn synthesis, as well as detailed experimental and MD simulation methods for measuring depth-dependent polarity, hydration and multi-molecular energy transfer dynamics at lipid/water interfaces of gel and fluid phases of lipid bilayer.


Lipid/water interface Membrane probes 4-Aminophthalimide Polarity and hydration at interfaces Lipid phases Molecular dynamics simulations of lipid bilayers 



The works were supported by University Grants Commission (UGC-JNU-UPE-II, project no. 75), Department of Science and Technology (DST-PURSE) and Department of Biotechnology (DBT-BUILDER; project no. BT/PR5006/INF/153/2012). M.K.S. thanks CSIR and DBT-BUILDER, and H.S. thanks UGC for providing fellowships.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Moirangthem Kiran Singh
    • 1
  • Him Shweta
    • 1
  • Sobhan Sen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Spectroscopy Laboratory, School of Physical SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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