Abstract

Molecular rotors are a unique group of viscosity-sensitive fluorescent probes. Several recent studies have shown their applicability as nonmechanical fluid viscosity sensors, particularly in biofluids containing proteins. To date, molecular rotors have had to be dissolved in the fluid for the measurement to be taken. We now show that molecular rotors may be covalently bound to a fiber-optic tip without loss of viscosity sensitivity. The optical fiber itself may be used as a light guide for emission light (external illumination of the tip) as well as for both emission and excitation light. Covalently bound molecular rotors exhibit a viscosity-dependent intensity increase similar to molecular rotors in solution. An optical fiber-based fluorescent viscosity sensor may be used in real-time measurement applications ranging from biomedical applications to the food industry.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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