Excited state prototropism (ESPT) is observed in molecules having one or more ionizable protons, whose proton transfer efficiency is different in ground and excited states. The interaction of various ESPT molecules like naphthols and intramolecular ESPT (ESIPT) molecules like hydroxyflavones etc. with different microheterogeneous media have been studied in detail and excited state prototropism as a probe concept has been gaining ground. The fluorescence of different prototropic forms of such molecules, on partitioning to an organized medium like lipid bilayer membrane, often show sensitive response to the local environment with respect to the local structure, physical properties and dynamics. Our recent work using 1-naphthol as an ESPT fluorescent molecular probe has shown that the incorporation of monomeric bile salt molecules into lipid bilayer membranes composed from dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC, a lung surfactant) and dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC), in solid gel and liquid crystalline phases, induce appreciable wetting of the bilayer up to the hydrocarbon core region, even at very low (≤ 1 mM) concentrations of the bile salts. The incorporation and location of fisetin, an ESIPT molecule having antioxidant properties, in lipid bilayer membrane has been sensitively monitored from its intrinsic fluorescence behaviour. © 2012 Copyright Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).