Development of a fluorescent nanoprobe based on an amphiphilic single-benzene-based fluorophore for lipid droplet detection and its practical applications

Yuna Jung, Ji Hye Jin, Youngseo Kim, Ji Hyeon Oh, Heechang Moon, Huisu Jeong, Jaehoon Kim, Yoon Kyung Park, Yohan Oh, Sungnam Park, Dokyoung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Lipid droplets (LDs) are crucial biological organelles connected with metabolic pathways in biological systems and diseases. To monitor the locations and accumulation of LDs in lipid-related diseases, the development of a visualization tool for LDs has gained importance. In particular, LD visualization using fluorescent probes has gained attention. Herein, a new fluorescent nanoprobe, BMeS-Ali, is developed that can sense LDs based on an amphiphilic single benzene-based fluorophore (SBBF). BMeS-Ali consists of hydrophilic (-NH2) and hydrophobic (-C12H25) moieties and exists as a micelle nanostructure in aqueous media. BMeS-Ali has a weak fluorescence, but its emission was dramatically enhanced upon exposure to the LD components such as oleic acids (OA) by reassembling its nano-formulation. BMeS-Ali showed a selective LD staining ability and great biocompatibility in cells (cancer cells and stem cells). It also showed a practical sensing ability towards biologically derived lipids and can be applied to the visualization of human fingerprints. We found that the nanoprobe BMeS-Ali has significant potential to serve as a practical dye and sensor for lipids, especially for LD imaging in the biomedical research area and broader industrial applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5423-5433
Number of pages11
JournalOrganic and Biomolecular Chemistry
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun 21

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education (2018-R1A6A1A03025124; D. K.). This research was also supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the NRF of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science & ICT (2022-R1F1A1069954, 2022-M3A9H1014157, 2021-M3A9I5030523; D. K.) and a grant from the Korea Health Technology R&D Project of the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI21C0239; D. K.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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