Deoxyribonucleoside-modified squaraines as near-IR viscosity sensors

Yuanwei Zhang, Xiling Yue, Bosung Kim, Sheng Yao, Kevin D. Belfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Deoxyribonucleoside-modified squaraines were synthesized by Sonogashira coupling reactions using an unsymmetrical, terminal alkynylated benzothiazolium squaraine dye. These non-natural nucleosides exhibited fluorescent 'turn-on' properties in viscous conditions with an enhancement of >300-fold. The viscosity-dependent fluorescence enhancement was attributed to a combination of hampering both molecular aggregation and intramolecular bond rotation of the squaraine probe. Fluorescence microscopy allowed visualization of highly viscous regions during various stages of cellular mitosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7249-7253
Number of pages5
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 10 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry


  • aggregation
  • deoxyribonucleosides
  • near-IR imaging
  • squaraine dyes
  • viscosity sensors


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