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Insights into the Strong Emission Enhancement of Molecular Rotor Thioflavin T in Aqueous Cellulose Nanocrystal Dispersion: White Light Generation in Protein and Micellar Media

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posted on 2023-05-27, 13:09 authored by Souvik Layek, Nanigopal Bera, Pratyush Kiran Nandi, Nilmoni Sarkar
Thioflavin t (THT) is a well-known molecular rotor extensively used to detect amyloid-like structures. But THT shows very weak emission in water. In this article, we have found that THT shows very strong emission in the presence of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs). Steady-state and time-resolved emission techniques have been used to study the strong emission of THT in aqueous CNC dispersion. The time-resolved study showed that in the presence of CNCs, the lifetime increased by ∼1500 fold compared to pure water (<1 ps). To know the nature of interaction and also the reason for this increase in emission zeta potential, stimuli-dependent and temperature-dependent studies have been carried out. These studies proposed that electrostatic interaction is the main factor for this binding of THT with CNCs. Further, the addition of another anionic lipophilic dye, merocyanine 540 (MC540), with CNCs–THT in both BSA protein (CIE: 0.33, 0.32) and TX-100 micellar (4.5 mM) (CIE: 0.32, 0.30) solutions produced excellent white light emission. Lifetime decay and absorption studies proposed a possible fluorescence resonance energy transfer mechanism in this generation of white light emission.

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