Interactions of Ionic Liquids and Spirocyclic Compounds with Liposome Model Membranes. A Steady-State Fluorescence Anisotropy Study

Antti H. Rantamäki, Wen Chen, Paulus Hyväri, Jussi Helminen, Gabriel Partl, Alistair W.T. King, Susanne K. Wiedmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the toxicity of ionic liquids (ILs) is crucial in the search of greener chemicals. By comparing in vivo toxicity and in vitro interactions determined between compounds and biomimetic lipid membranes, more detailed toxicity vs. structure relation can be obtained. However, determining the interactions between non-surface-active compounds and liposomes has been a challenging task. Organisational changes induced by ILs and IL-like spirocyclic compounds within 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene-doped biomimetic liposomes was studied by steady-state fluorescence anisotropy technique. The extent of organisational changes detected within the liposome bilayers were compared to the toxicity of the compounds determined using Vibrio Fischeri bacteria. Four liposome compositions made of pure 1-palmitoyl-2-oleyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocoline (POPC) and mixtures of POPC, 1-palmitoyl-2-oleyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoserine (POPS), and cholesterol (Chol) were tested as biomimetic models. Changes observed within the POPC/POPS/Chol 55:20:25 bilayers correlated the best with the toxicity results: ten out of twelve compounds followed the trend of increasing bilayer disorder – increasing toxicity. The study suggests that the toxicity of non-surface-active compounds is dependent on their ability to diffuse into the bilayers. The extent of bilayer’s organisational changes correlates rather well with the toxicity of the compounds. Highly sensitive technique, such as fluorescence anisotropy measurements, is needed for detecting subtle changes within the bilayer structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18349
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Biomimetics
  • Cholesterol/chemistry
  • Diphenylhexatriene/chemistry
  • Fluorescence Polarization
  • Green Chemistry Technology
  • Ionic Liquids/chemistry
  • Lipid Bilayers/chemistry
  • Liposomes/chemistry
  • Membranes/chemistry
  • Phosphatidylcholines/chemistry
  • Phosphatidylserines/chemistry
  • Surface-Active Agents/chemistry


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