Development of optical biosensors is an active area of research in the field of medical technology. Sol–gel matrices made from alkoxide silicates, tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) appear to be suitable glassy host matrix for the sensing system. However, the major problem in the TEOS based sol–gel matrices is stability. So it is important to study dopant–matrix interaction as a function of time. In the present study, we report fluorescence emission and excited state lifetime measurements on fluorescent probes entrapped in TEOS sol–gel for monitoring the physico-chemical processes for characterization and monitoring of local environment (pores) of dopant molecule (fluorescent probes) for construction of sensing layer for optical transducer. Different types of fluorescent probes viz., Hoechst 33258 (H258) and pyranine (PY) were used. Sol–gels containing these probes were prepared at pH=6.0 and the physical and spectroscopic parameters were monitored as a function of storage time (days). The emission intensity from entrapped H258 has shown relatively higher extent of decrease during aging. The excited state fluorescence lifetime measurements on these probes depicted single exponential decay component at 5.4 ns (PY) and 3.6 ns (H258) in fresh sol–gels. After a few days of storage the sol–gel containing H258 revealed an additional short decay component whereas no such alteration could be observed with the probe molecule PY. Further confirmation of multicomponents decay was obtained by distribution analysis of lifetime of H258 where an increase in width of mean lifetime was observed with storage whereas no such change was indicated from PY. Thus it appears that H258 is a better probe molecule for characterizing and monitoring local environment of pores in sol–gel.