Fluorescent probes for viscosity and temperature


  • Dr. Aurimas Vyšniauskas 
  • dokt. Karolina Maleckaitė

Viscosity is a key parameter that determines the physical properties of cells and their organelles. Additionally, viscosity determines diffusion rates of macromolecules and the rates of reactions happening inside the cell. Concurrently, the temperature inside a living cell is always changing during both normal and abnormal processes, like inflammation. One of the most convenient methods for sensing viscosity or temperature in microscopic objects like cells is provided by viscosity- or temperature-sensitive fluorophores. However, the full potential of this technique is not yet realised because currently reported fluorescent sensors have a number of flaws. Unfortunately, these flaws are hard to correct since too little is known about how exactly fluorescent viscosity and temperature sensors work. Therefore, our goals are the following:

  • To determine the action mechanism of fluorescent viscosity and temperature sensors by performing a thorough spectroscopic and theoretical study
  • To design new fluorescent viscosity and temperature sensors superior to the currently known ones.


Research Council of Lithuania “Next-generation fluorescent sensors” (Nr. S-MIP-19-6), 2019-2022, 150k EUR.

Selected publications
  1. S. Toliautas, J. Dodonova, A. Žvirblis, I. Čiplys, A. Polita, A. Devižis, S. Tumkevičius, J. Šulskus, A. Vyšniauskas. Enhancing the Viscosity-Sensitive Range of a BODIPY Molecular Rotor by Two Orders of MagnitudeChem. Eur. J., 25, 44, 10342-10349, 2019 (Cover Feature).
  2. A. Vyšniauskas, I. Lopez-Duarte, N. Duchemin, T.-T. Vu, Y. Wu, E. Budynina, Y. Volkova, E. Pena-Cabrera, D. E. Ramirez-Ornelas, M. K. Kuimova. Exploring viscosity, polarity and temperature sensitivity of BODIPY-based molecular rotorsPhys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 19, 25252-25259, 2017 (Front cover article).
  3. A. Vyšniauskas, D. Ding, M. Qurashi, I. Boczarow, M. Balaz, H. L. Anderson, M. K. Kuimova. Tuning the Sensitivity of Fluorescent Porphyrin Dimers to Viscosity and TemperatureChem. Eur. J., 23, 46, 11001-11010, 2017, (Frontispiece).
  4. A.Vyšniauskas, M. Qurashi, M. K. Kuimova. A Molecular Rotor that Measures Dynamic Changes of Lipid Bilayer Viscosity Caused by Oxidative StressChem. Eur. J., 22, 37, 13210-13217, 2016.
  5. A. Vyšniauskas, M. Qurashi, N. Gallop, M. Balaz, H. L. Anderson and M. K. Kuimova. Unravelling the effect of temperature on viscosity-sensitive fluorescent molecular rotorsChem. Sci. 6, 5773-5778, 2015.