Scientists have synthesized a substance that can be used to diagnose diseases by changing blood viscosity. It is a combined material consisting of two dyes of different nature. One component increases sensitivity to light, the second serves as a detector of local viscosity or acidity. This means that the developed drug, in addition to the therapeutic function, has a signaling function that allows evaluating the effectiveness of the treatment of the disease. The results of the study, supported by a grant from the Russian Science Foundation (RNF), are published in the Journal of Molecular Liquids.

Glowing molecules are actively used in biology, chemistry and medicine to track the processes going on in living cells, as well as the movement of drugs in the human body. One of the classes of such molecules is fluorescent, that is, luminous, BODIPY dyes. Fragments of these molecules have the ability to rotate relative to each other.

Such dyes can be used as a luminous label in the diagnosis of various diseases. They detect minor changes in the viscosity or acidity of the cellular fluid associated with both the disease itself and the result of therapy. Currently, work is actively underway to expand the possibilities of practical application of dye molecules, for example, to increase their stability, sensitivity of luminescence to changes in the viscosity of the medium, as well as to improve biocompatibility.

Scientists of the Krestov Institute of Solution Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Ivanovo) and the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) based on dyes of various classes — BODIPY and porphyrin — have developed a new water-soluble hybrid compound with the ability to produce "active" oxygen to destroy pathological cells, as well as act as a fluorescent detector of local viscosity and acidity Wednesday. To obtain such a compound, the researchers synthesized a new BODIPY, showing the most noticeable responses in the viscosity range corresponding to the viscosity of human blood. Next, the authors performed a "crosslinking" reaction of the obtained BODIPY with a porphyrin molecule. Porphyrin is a chemical substance that is part of hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen to the tissues of the body.

Combining porphyrin and BODIPY molecules into one system made it possible to increase the ability of porphyrin to produce "active" oxygen for the destruction of pathological cells, as well as the detection properties of BODIPY. With the help of modern physico-chemical methods, scientists have found that due to the ability of molecular fragments to rotate relative to each other, the glow of the complex in more viscous media is 2 times more intense compared to individual BODIPY molecules.

The proposed hybrid dye is sensitive to small changes in the viscosity of the medium in the range that corresponds to the viscosity of the blood of a healthy person. This will make it possible to create "smart" molecular devices based on it for tracking physiological and pathological processes in the blood, as well as evaluating the effectiveness of treatment of the disease as a whole. The obtained results create conditions for an effective transition to personalized medicine, high-tech healthcare and health-saving technologies.

"The synthesized hybrid dye molecule can be used as a molecular device for non-contact determination of medium properties, for example, local viscosity or acidity of intracellular fluid. In the future, we plan to develop similar hybrid materials based on porphyrins with other dyes that combine the properties of increased sensitivity to light and luminescence," says Nugzar Mamardashvili, head of the Laboratory of Coordination Chemistry of Macrocyclic Compounds at the Krestov Institute of Solution Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the head of the project supported by a grant from the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Information and photos provided by the press service of the Russian Science Foundation

PHOTO: Junior Researcher Elena Kaygorodova. Source: Nugzar Mamardashvili

The information is taken from the portal "Scientific Russia" ( /)

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