Imperial College London

Dr Kuimova

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Chemistry

Reader in Chemical Physics



+44 (0)20 7594 8558m.kuimova




207BMolecular Sciences Research HubWhite City Campus






BibTex format

author = {Kuimova, MK and Mika, JT and Thompson, AJ and Dent, MR and Brooks, NJ and Michiels, J and Hofkens, J},
doi = {10.1016/j.bpj.2016.08.020},
journal = {Biophysical Journal},
pages = {1528--1540},
title = {Measuring the viscosity of the Escherichia coli plasma membrane using molecular rotors},
url = {},
volume = {111},
year = {2016}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - The viscosity is a highly important parameter within the cell membrane, affecting the diffusion ofsmall molecules and, hence, controlling the rates of intra-cellular reactions. There is significantinterest in the direct, quantitative assessment of membrane viscosity. Here we report the use offluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) of the molecular rotor BODIPY C10 in themembranes of live Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria to permit direct quantification of the viscosity.Using this approach we investigated the viscosity in live E. coli cells, spheroplasts and liposomesmade from E. coli membrane extracts. For live cells and spheroplasts the viscosity was measured atboth room temperature (23o C) and the E. coli growth temperature (37o C), while the membraneextract liposomes were studied over a range of measurement temperatures (5-40o C). At 37o C werecorded a membrane viscosity in live E. coli cells of 950 cP, which is considerably higher than thatpreviously observed in other live cell membranes (e.g., eukaryotic cells, membranes of Bacillusvegetative cells). Interestingly, this indicates that E. coli cells exhibit a high degree of lipid orderingwithin their liquid-phase plasma membranes.
AU - Kuimova,MK
AU - Mika,JT
AU - Thompson,AJ
AU - Dent,MR
AU - Brooks,NJ
AU - Michiels,J
AU - Hofkens,J
DO - 10.1016/j.bpj.2016.08.020
EP - 1540
PY - 2016///
SN - 1542-0086
SP - 1528
TI - Measuring the viscosity of the Escherichia coli plasma membrane using molecular rotors
T2 - Biophysical Journal
UR -
UR -
VL - 111
ER -