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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 5;8(6):e64738. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064738. Print 2013.

High-contrast fluorescence imaging in fixed and living cells using optimized optical switches.

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1
Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley, California, United States of America.

Abstract

We present the design, synthesis and characterization of new functionalized fluorescent optical switches for rapid, all-visible light-mediated manipulation of fluorescence signals from labelled structures within living cells, and as probes for high-contrast optical lock-in detection (OLID) imaging microscopy. A triazole-substituted BIPS (TzBIPS) is identified from a rational synthetic design strategy that undergoes robust, rapid and reversible, visible light-driven transitions between a colorless spiro- (SP) and a far-red absorbing merocyanine (MC) state within living cells. The excited MC-state of TzBIPS may also decay to the MC-ground state emitting near infra-red fluorescence, which is used as a sensitive and quantitative read-out of the state of the optical switch in living cells. The SP to MC transition for a membrane-targeted TzBIPS probe (C₁₂-TzBIPS) is triggered at 405 nm at an energy level compatible with studies in living cells, while the action spectrum of the reverse transition (MC to SP) has a maximum at 650 nm. The SP to MC transition is complete within the 790 ns pixel dwell time of the confocal microscope, while a single cycle of optical switching between the SP and MC states in a region of interest is complete within 8 ms (125 Hz) within living cells, the fastest rate attained for any optical switch probe in a biological sample. This property can be exploited for real-time correction of background signals in living cells. A reactive form of TzBIPS is linked to secondary antibodies and used, in conjunction with an enhanced scope-based analysis of the modulated MC-fluorescence in immuno-stained cells, for high-contrast immunofluorescence microscopic analysis of the actin cytoskeleton.

PMID:
23755140
PMCID:
PMC3674008
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0064738
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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