Results are presented of nonphotochemical-hole-burning experiments on the mitochondrial specific dye rhodamine 800 incubated with two human ovarian surface epithelial cell lines: OSE(tsT)-14 normal cells and OV167 carcinoma cells. This dye is selective for the plasma and inner membranes of the mitochondria, as shown by confocal microscopy images. Dispersive hole-growth kinetics of zero-phonon holes are analyzed with theoretical fits, indicating that subcellular structural heterogeneity of the carcinoma cell line is lower relative to the analogous normal cell line. Broadening of holes in the presence of an applied electric field (Stark effect) was used to determine the permanent dipole moment change for the S0→S1 transition in the two cell lines. For the carcinoma cell line, the permanent dipole moment change value is a factor of 1.5 higher than for the normal cell line. It is speculated that this difference may be related to differences in mitochondrial membrane potentials in the two cell lines.
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