A series of liquid crystal molecules with two Schiff base linking units and a cinnamaldehyde core with different terminal groups were synthesized and characterized. The intermediates of 4-heptyloxybenzaldehyde (1a) and 4-dodeyloxybenzaldehyde (1b) were synthesized through the alkylation of 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde with a series of bromoalkane. A condensation reaction of cinnamaldehyde, 1,4-phenylenediamine and a series of substituted benzaldehydes with different terminal groups such as bromo, chloro, hydroxy, cinnamaldehyde, hydrogen, methoxy, heptyloxy and dodecyloxy produced a series of new cinnamaldehyde-based compounds, 2-9, respectively. All these compounds were characterized using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and CHN elemental analysis. The liquid crystal properties of these compounds were determined using polarized optical microscopy (POM), and their transitions were further confirmed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Compounds with chloro, bromo, methoxy, heptyloxy, and dodecyloxy substituents are mesogenic compounds with nematic phase behavior. However, the other compounds were found to be non-mesogenic without any mesophase transitions. The structure-property relationship was investigated in order to study the effect of different terminal groups and Schiff base linking units on the liquid crystalline behavior of these compounds.
Glycolipid, found commonly in membranes, is also a liquid crystal material which can self-assemble without the presence of a solvent. Here, the dielectric and conductivity properties of three synthetic glycolipid thin films in different thermotropic liquid crystal phases were investigated over a frequency and temperature range of (10(-2)-10(6) Hz) and (303-463 K), respectively. The observed relaxation processes distinguish between the different phases (smectic A, columnar/hexagonal, and bicontinuous cubic Q) and the glycolipid molecular structures. Large dielectric responses were observed in the columnar and bicontinuous cubic phases of the longer branched alkyl chain glycolipids. Glycolipids with the shortest branched alkyl chain experience the most restricted self-assembly dynamic process over the broad temperature range studied compared to the longer ones. A high frequency dielectric absorption (Process I) was observed in all samples. This is related to the dynamics of the hydrogen bond network from the sugar group. An additional low-frequency mechanism (Process II) with a large dielectric strength was observed due to the internal dynamics of the self-assembly organization. Phase sensitive domain heterogeneity in the bicontinuous cubic phase was related to the diffusion of charge carriers. The microscopic features of charge hopping were modelled using the random walk scheme, and two charge carrier hopping lengths were estimated for two glycolipid systems. For Process I, the hopping length is comparable to the hydrogen bond and is related to the dynamics of the hydrogen bond network. Additionally, that for Process II is comparable to the bilayer spacing, hence confirming that this low-frequency mechanism is associated with the internal dynamics within the phase.
The first example of non-symmetric isoflavone-based fast photo-switchable liquid crystals with different functional groups at the terminal position were synthesized and characterized. Polarizing optical microscopy study revealed that the compounds showed least ordered nematic phase. Optical photo switching study exhibited very fast photoisomerization effect in solution. The E-Z and Z-E conversion occurred around 3-5s and 40-700 s respectively. This is also the first example of para-substituted non-symmetric isoflavone liquid crystals exhibiting very fast photo switching property in solution. Argument based on non-symmetrical behaviour might be the reason for the observed behaviour.
Through atomistic molecular dynamic simulations using a GROMOS53a6 force field for the carbohydrate, we studied the lyotropic reverse hexagonal phase HII from a glycolipid, namely the Guerbet branched-chain β-d-glucoside, at 14% and 22% water concentrations. Our simulations showed that at low water concentration (14%) the sugar head group overlapped extensively and protruded into the water channel. In contrast, in the 22% concentration system a water column free from the sugar headgroup ('free' water) was formed as expected for the system close to the limit of maximum hydration. In both concentrations, we found anomalous water diffusion in the xy-plane, i.e. the two-dimensional space confined by the surface of the cylinder. On the other hand, along the z-axis, the water diffusion obeyed the Einstein relation for the 22% system, while for the 14% system it was slightly anomalous. For the 22% system, the diffusion along the z-axis of the 'free' water obeyed the Einstein relation, while that of the 'bound' water is slightly anomalous. The xy-plane displacement of the 'bound' water was higher than that for the 'free' water at times longer than 200 ps, as a consequence of the exchange of water molecules between the two regions. Based on our findings, we proposed an alternative explanation to the observed spatial heterogeneity in the HII phase from probe diffusion by Penaloza et al. (Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012, 14(15), 5247-5250). We found the extent of contact with water was different at different oxygen atoms within the sugar ring. Generally, a higher probability of hydrogen bonding but a shorter lifetime was found in 22% water compared to the case of 14% water. Finally, we examined the extension and compression of the alkyl chain of a columnar.
Synthetic branched-chain glycolipids are suitable as model systems in understanding biological cell membranes, particularly because certain natural lipids possess chain branching. Herein, four branched-chain glycopyranosides, namely, 2-hexyl-decyl-α-D-glucopyranoside (α-Glc-OC10C6), 2-hexyl-decyl-β-D-glucopyranoside (β-Glc-OC10C6), 2-hexyl-decyl-α-D-galactopyranoside (α-Gal-OC10C6), and 2-hexyl-decyl-β-D-galactopyranoside (β-Gal-OC10C6), with a total alkyl chain length of 16 carbon atoms have been synthesized, and their phase behavior has been studied. The partial binary phase diagrams of these nonionic surfactants in water were investigated by optical polarizing microscopy (OPM) and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The introduction of chain branching in the hydrocarbon chain region is shown to result in the formation of inverse structures such as inverse hexagonal and inverse bicontinuous cubic phases. A comparison of the four compounds showed that they exhibited different polymorphism, especially in the thermotropic state, as a result of contributions from anomeric and epimeric effects according to their stereochemistry. The neat α-Glc-OC10C6 compound exhibited a lamellar (Lα) phase whereas dry α-Gal-OC10C6 formed an inverse bicontinuous cubic Ia3d (QII(G)) phase. Both β-anomers of glucoside and galactoside adopted the inverse hexagonal phase (HII) in the dry state. Generally, in the presence of water, all four glycolipids formed inverse bicontinuous cubic Ia3d (QII(G)) and Pn3m (QII(D)) phases over wide temperature and concentration ranges. The formation of inverse nonlamellar phases by these Guerbet branched-chain glycosides confirms their potential as materials for novel biotechnological applications such as drug delivery and crystallization of membrane proteins.
Widefield surface plasmon resonance (WSPR) microscopy provides high resolution imaging of interfacial interactions. We report the application of the WSPR imaging system in the study of the interaction between keratinocytes and liquid crystals (LC). Imaging of fixed keratinocytes cultured on gold coated surface plasmon substrates functionalized with a thin film of liquid crystals was performed in air using a 1.45NA objective based system. Focal adhesion of the cells adhered to glass and LC were further studied using immunofluorescence staining of the vinculin. The imaging system was also simulated with 2×2 scattering matrix to investigate the optical reflection of the resonant plasmonic wave via the glass/gold/cell and glass/gold/LC/cell layers. WSPR imaging indicated that keratinocytes are less spread and formed distinct topography of cell-liquid crystal couplings when cultured on liquid crystal coated substrates. The simulation indicates that glass/LC shifted the surface plasmon excitation angle to 75.39° as compared to glass/air interface at 44°. The WSPR microcopy reveals that the cells remodelled their topography of adhesion at different interfaces.
We have investigated the phase behavior of four glycosides (βC8OGlc, βC8SGlc, βC10OGlc, βC8OGal) in water and D2O by optical polarizing microscopy and deuterium NMR. Previously published phase diagrams were evaluated by deuterium NMR, via monitoring D2O spectra, and confirmed the presence of the hexagonal, bicontinuous cubic, and lamellar phases in these glycosides. We have also shown the presence of the gel phase in (βC10OGlc) and observed the extensive supercooling of the lamellar phase to temperatures well below the Kraft line. While the main features of the phase diagrams were confirmed, some phase boundaries were found to be slightly different. Magnetically aligned spectra were also observed for relatively dilute samples for the hexagonal phase (βC8OGlc and βC8OGal) and the lamellar phase (βC8SGlc and βC10OGlc). The average number of bound water molecules per headgroup in the lamellar phase for the glycosides was determined by the systematic measurement of the quadrupolar splitting of D2O over a wide range of values of the (glycoside/water) molar ratio. The number of water molecules bound to the headgroup was found on average to be about 1.6-1.7 water molecules with no significant differences in this value for the different glycosides (and over the temperature range investigated), indicating that the bound water content is predominately influenced by the number of hydroxyl groups of the headgroup only. However, this bound water content of only 1.6-1.7 water molecules per sugar headgroup is surprisingly low, suggesting strong intermolecular interactions of the OH groups of headgroup sugars. The results are in line with computational results reported earlier for the octyl-β-glucoside and β-galactoside, which show the presence of strong intralayer hydrogen bonding.
Anomers and epimers α- and β-gluco and -galactosides are expected to behave differently. However, recent results on a series of Guerbet glycosides have indicated similar liquid crystal clearing temperatures for pure β-glucosides and the corresponding α-galactosides. This observation has led to speculation on similarities in the self-assembly interactions between the two systems, attributed to the trans-configuration of the 4-OH group and the hydrophobic aglycon. Previous simulations on related bilayers systems support this hypothesis, by relating this clearing transition temperature to intralayer (sugar-sugar) hydrogen bonding. In order to confirm the hypothesis, the comparison was expanded to include the cis-configurated pair, that is, α-gluco/β-galactoside. A set of α-configurated Guerbet glucosides as well as octyl α-galactoside were prepared and their thermotropic phase behavior studied. The data obtained enabled a complete comparison of the isomers of interest. While the results in general are in line with a pairing of the stereo-isomers according to the indicated cis/trans-configuration, differences within the pairs can be explained based on the direction of hydrogen bonds from a simple modeling study.
A series of new mesogenic azomethine diols were successfully synthesized by condensation reactions between various chloroalkanols and N,N'-bis(4-hydroxy)-benzylidene-o-toluidine (1). The structures of these compounds were confirmed by CHN, FT-IR, (1)H-NMR, and (13)C-NMR spectrophotometer. Their thermotropic liquid crystalline behavior was studied using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and polarizing optical microscope (POM). 4,4'-di(4-Hydroxybutoxy)-N-benzylidine-o-tolidine (2a) does not exhibit liquid crystalline properties. A nematic texture was observed for mesogenic diols 2b, and 2d, whereas the diol 2c exhibits a smectic mesophase. The increase of terminal alkyl chain in these mesogenic diols leads to a decrease in the transition temperature.
The molecular dynamics of a synthetic branched chain glycolipid, 2-decyl-tetradecyl-β-d-maltoside (C14-10G2), in the dry assemblage of smectic and columnar liquid crystal phases has been studied by dielectric spectroscopy as a function of frequency and temperature during the cooling process. Strong relaxation modes were observed corresponding to the tilted smectic and columnar phases, respectively. At low frequency (∼900 Hz to 1 kHz) in the smectic phase, Process I* was observed due to the tilted sugar bilayer structure. The process continued in the columnar phase (Process I) with an abrupt dynamic change due to phase transition in the frequency range of ∼1.3 kHz to 22 kHz. An additional process (Process II) was observed in the columnar phase with a broader relaxation in the frequency range of ∼10 Hz to 1 kHz. A bias field dependence study was performed in the columnar phase and we found that the relaxation strength rapidly decreased with increased applied dc bias field. This relaxation originates from a collective motion of polar groups within the columns. The results of dielectric spectroscopy were supported by a molecular dynamics simulation study to identify the origin of the relaxation processes, which could be related to the chirality and hydrogen bonds of the sugar lipid.
Non-lamellar liquid crystalline aqueous nanodispersions, known also as ISAsomes (internally self-assembled 'somes' or nanoparticles), are gaining increasing interest in drug solubilisation and bio-imaging, but they often exhibit poor hemocompatibility and induce cytotoxicity. This limits their applications in intravenous drug delivery and targeting. Using a binary mixture of citrem and soy phosphatidylcholine (SPC) at different weight ratios, we describe a library of colloidally stable aqueous and hemocompatible nanodispersions of diverse nanoarchitectures (internal self-assembled nanostructures). This engineered library is structurally stable in human plasma as well as being hemocompatible (non-hemolytic, and poor activator of the complement system). By varying citrem to lipid weight ratio, the nanodispersion susceptibility to macrophage uptake could also be modulated. Finally, the formation of nanodispersions comprising internally V2 (inverse bicontinuous cubic) and H2 (inverse hexagonal) nanoarchitectures was achieved without the use of an organic solvent, a secondary emulsifier, or high-energy input. The tunable binary citrem/SPC nanoplatform holds promise for future development of hemocompatible and immune-safe nanopharmaceuticals.
Lyotropic nonlamellar liquid crystalline nanoparticles (NPs) (LCN), such as cubosomes and hexosomes, are useful tools for applications in drug delivery because of their unique structural properties. LCNs are highly versatile carriers that can be applied for use with topical, oral, and intravenous treatments. In recent years, significant research has focused on improving their preparation and characterization, including controlling drug release and enhancing the efficacy of loaded bioactive molecules. Nevertheless, the clinical translation of LCN-based carriers has been slow. In this review, we highlight recent advances and challenges in the development and application of LCN, providing examples of their topical, oral, and intravenous drug delivery applications, and discussing translational obstacles to LCN as a NP technology.
Cell migration is a key contributor to wound repair. This study presents findings indicating that the liquid crystal based cell traction force transducer (LCTFT) system can be used in conjunction with a bespoke cell traction force mapping (CTFM) software to monitor cell/surface traction forces from quiescent state in real time. In this study, time-lapse photo microscopy allowed cell induced deformations in liquid crystal coated substrates to be monitored and analyzed. The results indicated that the system could be used to monitor the generation of cell/surface forces in an initially quiescent cell, as it migrated over the culture substrate, via multiple points of contact between the cell and the surface. Future application of this system is the real-time assaying of the pharmacological effects of cytokines on the mechanics of cell migration.
Keratinocyte traction forces play a crucial role in wound healing. The aim of this study was to develop a novel cell traction force (CTF) transducer system based on cholesteryl ester liquid crystals (LC). Keratinocytes cultured on LC induced linear and isolated deformation lines in the LC surface. As suggested by the fluorescence staining, the deformation lines appeared to correlate with the forces generated by the contraction of circumferential actin filaments which were transmitted to the LC surface via the focal adhesions. Due to the linear viscoelastic behavior of the LC, Hooke's equation was used to quantify the CTFs by associating Young's modulus of LC to the cell induced stresses and biaxial strain in forming the LC deformation. Young's modulus of the LC was profiled by using spherical indentation and determined at approximately 87.1±17.2kPa. A new technique involving cytochalasin-B treatment was used to disrupt the intracellular force generating actin fibers, and consequently the biaxial strain in the LC induced by the cells was determined. Due to the improved sensitivity and spatial resolution (∼1μm) of the LC based CTF transducer, a wide range of CTFs was determined (10-120nN). These were found to be linearly proportional to the length of the deformations. The linear relationship of CTF-deformations was then applied in a bespoke CTF mapping software to estimate CTFs and to map CTF fields. The generated CTF map highlighted distinct distributions and different magnitude of CTFs were revealed for polarized and non-polarized keratinocytes.
The phenolic Schiff bases I-VI were synthesized by condensation reactions between various diamines, namely o-dianisidine, o-tolidine and ethylenediamine with vanillin or p-hydroxybenzaldehyde and subsequent reactions between these phenolic Schiff bases and epichlorohydrin to produce new diglycidyl ethers Ia-VIa. The structures of these compounds were confirmed by CHN, FT-IR, (1)H-NMR, and (13)C-NMR spectroscopy. Their thermotropic liquid crystalline behavior was studied using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and polarizing optical microscopy (POM). All the diglycidyl ethers prepared exhibit nematic mesophases, except for Va and VIa, which did not show any transition mesophases, but simply flow to liquids.
In this study, we developed positively charged liquid crystalline nanoparticles (LCN) coated with chitosan (CHI) to enhance the skin permeation and distribution of 5α-reductase inhibitors for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. LCN and surface-modified LCN (CHI-LCN) were prepared by ultrasonication method, and their physicochemical properties were characterized. In vitro and in vivo skin permeation and retention were studied using porcine abdominal skin and mice skin using the Franz diffusion cell. Skin distribution and cellular uptake of LCN and CHI-LCN were also investigated. The particle size and surface charge were 244.9 ± 2.1 nm and -19.2 ± 1.1 mV, respectively, for LCNs and 300.0 ± 7.6 nm and 24.7 ± 2.4 mV, respectively, for CHI-LCN. The permeation of 5α-reductase inhibitors was significantly greater with CHI-LCN compared with LCN, whereas there was no significant difference observed in the skin distribution. In fluorescence studies, fluorescence intensity was higher for CHI-LCNs throughout the skin, whereas more intense fluorescence was seen only in the epidermis layer for LCN. CHI-LCN showed greater cellular uptake than LCN, resulting in internalization of 98.5 ± 1.9% of nanoparticles into human keratinocyte cells. In conclusion, surface modification of LCN with CHI is a promising strategy for increasing skin permeation of 5α-reductase inhibitors for topical delivery.
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is one of the major causes of cancer-related mortality globally. Despite the availability of therapeutic options, the improvement in patient survival is yet to be achieved. Recent advances in natural product (e.g., Rutin) research, therapeutic nanotechnology and especially the combination of both could aid in achieving significant improvements in the treatment or management of NSCLC. In this study, we explore the anti-cancer activity of Rutin-loaded liquid crystalline nanoparticles (LCNs) in an in vitro model where we have employed the A549 human lung epithelial carcinoma cell line. The anti-proliferative activity was determined by MTT and Trypan blue assays, whereas, the anti-migratory activity was evaluated by the scratch wound healing assay and a modified Boyden chamber assay. We also evaluated the anti-apoptotic activity by Annexin V-FITC staining, and the colony formation activity was studied using crystal violet staining. Here, we report that Rutin-LCNs showed promising anti-proliferative and anti-migratory activities. Furthermore, Rutin-LCNs also induced apoptosis in the A549 cells and inhibited colony formation. The findings warrant further detailed and in-depth anti-cancer mechanistic studies of Rutin-LCNs with a focus towards a potential therapeutic option for NSCLC. LCNs may help to enhance the solubility of Rutin used in the treatment of lung cancer and hence enhance the anticancer effect of Rutin.
Aim: In the present study, the inhibitory potential of rutin-loaded liquid crystalline nanoparticles (LCNs) on oxidative stress was determined in human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) by analysing the expression levels of different antioxidant (NADPH quinine oxidoreductase-1 (NQO1); γ-glutamyl cysteine synthetase catalytic subunit (GCLC)) and pro-oxidant (NADPH oxidase (Nox)-4; Nox2B) genes. Results: Our findings revealed that the rutin-loaded LCNs inhibited the genes, namely Nox2B and Nox4, which caused oxidative stress. In addition, these nanoparticles demonstrated an upregulation in the expression of the antioxidant genes Gclc and Nqo-1 in a dose-dependent manner. Conclusion: The study indicates the promising potential of rutin-loaded LCNs as an effective treatment strategy in patients with high oxidant loads in various respiratory diseases.