American Chemical Society
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Thioflavin-T: A Quantum Yield-Based Molecular Viscometer for Glycerol–Monohydroxy Alcohol Mixtures

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-19, 02:30 authored by Puspal Mukherjee, Sintu Ganai
Molecular rotor dye thioflavin T (ThT) is almost nonfluorescent in low-viscosity solvents but highly fluorescent when bound to amyloid fibrils. This unique property arises from the rotation of the dimethylaniline moiety relative to the benzothiazole moiety in the excited state, which drives the dye from an emissive locally excited state to a twisted intramolecular charge-transfer state. This process is viscosity-controlled, and therefore, we can use the quantum yield of ThT to assess the viscosity of the environment. In this study, we have investigated the quantum yield of ThT (φThT) in various compositions of six alcoholic solvent mixtures of glycerol with methanol, ethanol, n-propanol, iso-propanol, n-butanol, and tert-butanol. We have proposed an empirical model using φThT as a function of the mole fraction of glycerol to estimate the interaction parameters between the components of the solvent mixtures. This analysis allowed us to predict the extent of nonideality of the solvent mixtures. The Förster–Hoffmann- and Loutfy–Arnold-type power law relationship was established between the quantum yield of ThT and bulk viscosity for solvent mixtures of methanol, ethanol, n-butanol, and tert-butanol with glycerol, and it was found to be similar in nature in all the four mixtures. Applying this knowledge, we proposed a methodology to quantify and predict the bulk viscosity coefficient values of several compositions of n-propanol–glycerol and iso-propanol–glycerol mixtures which have not been previously documented.