Linear dichroism of visible-region chromophores using M13 bacteriophage as an alignment scaffold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Matthew Tridgett
  • Charles Moore-kelly
  • Lorea Orueta Iturbe
  • Chi w. Tsang
  • Haydn A. Little
  • Sandeep K. Sandhu
  • Alison Rodger

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Birmingham, School of Biosciences, UK
  • Myeloma UK, Edinburgh, UK.
  • Telethon Kids Institute, Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia.
  • Macquarie University
  • Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, University of Maine
  • School of Chemistry
  • Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.


It is a challenge within the field of biomimetics to recreate the properties of light-harvesting antennae found in plants and photosynthetic bacteria. Attempts to recreate these biological structures typically rely on the alignment of fluorescent moieties via attachment to an inert linear scaffold, e.g. DNA, RNA or amyloid fibrils, to enable Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between attached chromophores. While there has been some success in this approach, refinement of the alignment of the chromophores is often limited, which may limit the efficiency of energy transfer achieved. Here we demonstrate how linear dichroism spectroscopy may be used to ascertain the overall alignment of chromophores bound to the M13 bacteriophage, a model linear scaffold, and demonstrate how this may be used to distinguish between lack of FRET efficiency due to chromophore separation, and chromophore misalignment. This approach will allow the refinement of artificial light-harvesting antennae in a directed fashion.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29535-29543
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number52
Early online date20 Aug 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Aug 2018