Ruthenium dipyridophenazine (dppz) complexes are sensitive luminescent probes for hydrophobic environments. Here, we apply multi-frequency fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) to Δ and Δ enantiomers of lipophilic ruthenium dppz complexes in live and fixed cells, and their different lifetime staining patterns are related to conventional intensity-based microscopy. Excited-state lifetimes of the enantiomers determined from FLIM measurements correspond well with spectroscopically measured emission decay curves in pure microenvironments of DNA, phospholipid membranes, or a model protein. We show that FLIM can be applied to monitor the long-lived excited states of ruthenium complex enantiomers and, combined with confocal microscopy, give new insight into their biomolecular binding and reveal differences in the microenvironment probed by the complexes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Materials Science
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry