The development of "molecular rulers" would allow one to quantitatively locate intercalants within the liposomal bilayer. To this end, we have attempted to correlate the 13C NMR chemical shift of a polarizable "reporter" carbon (e.g., carbonyl) of the intercalant-with the ET(30) polarity it experiences, and with its Angstrom distance from the interface. This requires families of molecules with the same two "reporter carbons" separated by a fixed distance, residing at various depths/polarities within the bilayer. The families studied included 4,4-dialkylcyclohexa-2,5-dienones 1, benzenediacetic esters 15, benzenedipropionic esters 17, 4-alkoxybenzaldehydes 19 and methyl 4-alkoxybenzoates 22. These compounds possessed the following characteristics: (1) a planar backbone; (2) polar/hydrophilic "head" groups; (3) modular hydrophobic tails; (4) large changes in the 13C NMR chemical shift (Δδ) of the reporter atoms with solvent polarity. These studies revealed a fifth requirement, namely: (5) the reporter carbons must not be strongly conjugated, lest it reflect the charge build-up at another site within the conjugated system.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We acknowledge the kind and generous support of the Israel Science Foundation (Grants Number 327/02 and 437/06)—founded by The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and The Ethel and David Resnick Chair in Active Oxygen Chemistry.
- C NMR
- Molecular ruler