Journal article

Formation of Large Hypericin Aggregates in Giant Unilamellar Vesicles-Experiments and Modeling

The incorporation of hypericin (Hyp) from aqueous solutions into giant unilamellar vesicle (GUV) membranes has been studied experimentally and by means of kinetic Monte Carlo modeling. The time evolution of Hyp fluorescence originating from Hyp monomers dissolved in the GUV membrane has been recorded by confocal microscopy and while trapping individual GUVs in optical tweezers. It was shown that after reaching a maximum, the fluorescence intensity gradually decreased toward longer times. Formation of oversized Hyp clusters has been observed on the GUV surface at prolonged time. A simplified kinetic Monte Carlo model is presented to follow the aggregation/dissociation processes of Hyp molecules in the membrane. The simulation results reproduced the basic experimental observations: the scaling of the characteristic fluorescence decay time with the vesicle diameter and the buildup of large Hyp clusters in the GUV membrane.


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