Lipid-Surrounding Water Molecules Probed by Time-Resolved Emission Spectra of Laurdan

Nozomi Watanabe, Keishi Suga, J. Peter Slotte, Thomas K.M. Nyholm, Hiroshi Umakoshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The hydration states of the interfacial region of lipid bilayers were investigated on the basis of the time-resolved emission spectra (TRES) analysis of 6-lauroyl-2-dimethylamino naphthalene (Laurdan), a common fluorescence probe used to analyze membrane hydration. TRES derived from long and short lifetime components were extracted from samples of different lipid species: 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC), 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC), d-erythro-N-palmitoyl-sphingosylphosphorylcholine (PSM), and a DOPC/PSM binary bilayer system. Neither lifetime component (short or long) corresponded with the hydration properties; the short lifetime component of DOPC (1.97 ns) exhibited a peak at 440 nm, and the long lifetime components of DPPC and PSM (7.76 and 7.77 ns, respectively) exhibited peaks at the same wavelength. This similarity arose from the competition between the collisional quenching and the hydration effects of water molecules. Herein, this phenomenon was investigated using a plot of the lifetime τ and the peak position λ (τ vs λ plot), simultaneously visualizing both effects by deconvoluting the TRES. On the basis of collisional quenching theory, the distribution of the water population per lipid (water map) was generated. According to this theory, the τ vs λ plot was applied to the water map and the calculation of the number of water molecules per lipid, which is consistent with previous reports. This approach provides novel insights for the analysis of molecular hydration states using the fluorescence of Laurdan.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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