Selective fluorescence detection of divalent and trivalent metal ions with functionalized lipid membranes

Jennifer L. Pincus*, Chunyang Jin, Wenjian Huang, Hollie K. Jacobs, Aravamudan S. Gopalan, Yujiang Song, John A. Shelnutt, Darryl Y. Sasaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


A series of functionalized lipid membranes were shown to respond selectively to Fe3+, Cr3+, Cu2+, and Fe 2+ with a distinctive change in bilayer fluorescence. The optical response is due to a change in the aggregational state of functionalized, pyrene-labeled lipids as they recognize and bind to the metal ion. Two new lipids are introduced with 2,2′-bipyridine (PSBiPy) and N-methylamide (PSMA) headgroups. These functionalized lipids, along with two other lipids having hydroxyl (PSOH) and iminodiacetic acid (PSIDA) headgroups, were incorporated into bilayers of distearylphosphatidylcholine (DSPC) producing materials that exhibited an excellent range of sensitivity for the metal ions at low pH. At neutral pH the metal ion sensitivities were lost for PSOH and PSMA while the sensitivity and selectivity for Cu2+ increased for PSBiPy. In addition to optical sensing, the bilayers also can undergo restructuring of the membrane architecture. Dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscope images show that for the majority of the bilayers, metal ion addition caused only aggregation of the vesicles. However, for the PSBiPy/DSPC membranes extraordinary square-shaped assemblies of planar bilayers formed in the presence of 100 μM Cu2+.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2938-2945
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry
Issue number27-28
StatePublished - Jul 21 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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