As I mentioned in my last blog post, I’ve been planning to incorporate my dye into conjugated polymer nanoparticles. Basically, these strands of polymer form a spherical shape in water and the idea is that by adding the dye to the solution containing these nanos, it will be incorporated into the nano particle. The reason for the interest in this procedure is that it provides a vessel for my dyes to be taken up into a cell. These nanos fluorescence at a wavelength where my dye absorbs, therefore if the two are close enough they can undergo a process called fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). In other words, the nanos can donate their energy to the dye particles to amplify the fluorescence of the dye. So far I’ve been able to successfully incorporate my dyes into nanos and demonstrate FRET. Better yet, my dyes are still reversible, which would be needed for actual pH sensing in cells. The procedure still needs some optimization such as determining the size of the nano-particles but the preliminary data is very encouraging. My Gaussian models of the di-ortho series has also been concluded. Now I’m currently trying to understand the relation between the structural angles and the pKa. Until next time!