Biophotophysics: probes and drugs

Research leaders: Carlos Alonso-Moreno/Iván Bravo

Fluorescence lifetime probes offer great advantages over conventional fluorescent probes, in which the response to a stimulus is correlated with the intensity of fluorescence emitted by the probe. Fluorescence lifetime is also sensitive to a wide variety of stimuli (analyte concentration, pH, temperature, viscosity, pressure, etc.) but is independent to the concentration of the probe. This is of great interest in the study of complex samples such as cells and tissues. We are working on the development of nanoprobes based on quantum dots functionalized with peptides and amino acids to determine intracellular and mitochondrial pH, as well as to monitor the effect of drugs and toxic substances on the cellular state using a Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscope (FLIM). We are also interested in the development of fluorescence lifetime probes of the endoplasmic reticulum stress based on BODIPY derivatives. Some fluorophores can also be highly sensitive to temperature. We are also studying the use of fluorescence lifetime probes as molecular thermometers.

Fluorescence spectroscopy can be also used to study the interactions between drugs and proteins, allowing the determination of parameters such as the affinity constant, number of binding sites and thermodynamic parameters. We are particularly interested in studying the interactions between therapeutic kinase targets and antitumor drugs in different phases of clinical. We also study the interactions of drugs with the carrier protein HSA, with the aim of obtaining useful information on the biodistribution and pharmacokinetics of these substances.

For more information, check some of our publications