Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Chair(s)

Lisa M. Berreau (Committee Chair)


Lisa M. Berreau


Alvan C. Hengge


Abby D. Benninghoff


Cheng-Wei T. Chang


Flavonols are present in nature in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. They are well known for their antioxidant, antiviral and anticancer properties. Additionally, the easy tunability of their chemical structures leads to the formation of a wide range of flavonol derivatives with different chemical properties. To better understand their applicability in biology, it is important to examine and evaluate the relationship between their structure and their uses thus far in living systems.

Flavonols have interesting emission properties displaying two bands, which correspond to their normal and tautomeric excited state forms. These emission features make them sensitive to the surrounding environment. Aminoflavonols have been reported to be even more sensitive to their microenvironment due to a phenomenon called internal charge transfer (ICT). Because of this feature, aminoflavonols have been used to sense different biological environments.

Outlined herein are different contexts in which aminoflavonols have been used as biological probes due to their unique emission properties. These molecules are of particular interest since they facilitate investigations and expedite the understanding of many biological processes and their disruption, which is the cause of a wide range of diseases.

Available for download on Wednesday, December 16, 2026