Energy transfer from a fluorescent hydrogel to a hosted fluorophore

Marco Montalti, Luisa Stella Dolci, Luca Prodi, Nelsi Zaccheroni, Marc C.A. Stuart, Kjeld C. van Bommel, Arianna Friggeri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


The fluorescent properties of a new 1,3,5-cyclohexyltricarboxamide-based low-molecular-weight hydrogelator (1) derivatized with one hydrophobic fluorophore and two hydrophilic substituents have been investigated. Gels of I are composed of long, nonbranched fibers of uniform diameter, as shown by cryo-transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM). The aggregation of the naphthalene fluorophore moieties of the gelator molecules in the gel fibers favors the occurrence of a fast energy migration process that allows a very efficient sensitization of the fluorescence of a hosted fluorophore. Such processes have been investigated by the addition of propyldansylarnide (PDNS). at two different concentrations, to gels of 1. Around 30% of the total PDNS added to the gels was found to be incorporated in the gel fibers, as confirmed by deconvolution of the fluorescence spectrum. excited-state lifetime measurements, and steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy measurements. Moreover. anisotropy measurements show that the fluorophore that is incorporated within the gel fibers is almost completely immobilized. indicating that the interactions of PDNS with the gelator moieties are very strong. This particular configuration of donor (1) and acceptor (PDNS) molecules leads to a very efficient antenna effect. where 50% of the absorbed photons are funneled through to the dansyl derivative when one PDNS molecule is incorporated in the gel fibers for every 100 gelator molecules. A 5-fold higher concentration of PDNS increases the percentage of funneled photons to 75%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2299-2303
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • GELS

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