Design and Application of Fluorescent Sensing Scaffolds Based upon and Originating from Conjugated Aryl-ethynyl Systems
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The utility of fluorophores for sensing applications in the current state of the art of biological imaging hardly needs to be stated. The use of fluorophores in exploring and determining the internal structure and active dynamics of cellular processes has been pivotal, allowing us to explore areas of study inaccessible through other means. A simple search of fluorophores in Scifinder© demonstrates their popularity, as the number of hits increases year after year, until the year of 2015 when there were 1400+ journal articles published with the phrase. Fluorophore applications range far and wide, from sensing applications related to environmental concerns, to public health, to clinical usage. Fluorophores have been developed to detect explosive residues, to monitor environmental pollutants, and even to detect illicit substances. In cellular applications, a fluorophore needs to be well suited to examining the relevant processes, including participating in the cellular milieu and actively signifying the phenomena that are desired. Chapter I examines the usage of alkynes in fluorescent sensing scaffolds and gives a survey of their applicability in the field. Chapter II demonstrates the utility of disulfide-based macrocyclic scaffolds in the design of supramolecular hosts for chloride anions and their use as solid-state sensors for these anions. Chapter III explores the synthesis and application of an alkyne-based scaffold in the reversible detection of dithiol/disulfide redox flux and a new mode of quantification of dithiol-disulfide redox couples, a classically difficult area of study. Chapter IV focuses on methods utilized to improve the disulfide-based redox sensing capabilities. Chapters V and VI explore the properties of a new fluorophore scaffold discovered during research into another sensing scaffold, demonstrating a new reaction which yields a heretofore underexplored heterocycle with novel photophysical and supramolecular behaviors. This dissertation contains both previously published and unpublished co-authored material.