Illuminating the path for super-resolution imaging with improved rhodamine dyes

December 03, 2019

Recent years have witnessed a rapid evolution of advanced fluorescence imaging techniques, such as single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) that allows for unprecedented resolution beyond the Abbe diffraction limit of the optical microscope.

However, insufficient brightness of fluorophores has posed a major bottleneck for the further advancement of this field and caused significant constraints to in vivo cellular dynamics studies.

Owing to the widespread applications of rhodamines in many super-resolution imaging studies, significant efforts have been taken to further enhance their performances.

Researchers from Dalian University of Technology (DUT) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have developed a novel strategy for chemists to achieve brighter fluorescence and clearer resolution with the use of a new class of rhodamines (see image).

This means that chemists and scientists can benefit directly from a wider colour palette that they can use during biological imaging. This will help them to distinguish various intricate cellular structures for more precise analysis that was not possible before. Their research paper has been published in ACS publications.

The researchers also successfully demonstrated that this strategy was compatible with other families of fluorophores, resulting in substantially increased fluorescence brightness and "photon budget". The increased "photon budget" is critical to improve the resolution and clarity of super-resolution microscopes.

The key to this strategy was the combination of the mechanistic understanding of the photophysical process in these fluorophores (namely, twisted intramolecular charge transfer), and the tailed molecular design strategy to inhibit this detrimental process via an electronic inductive effect.

"With the close integration of computational and experimental studies to understand the structure-property relationships of fluorophores, the dye chemistry is currently transforming from trial-and-error to design-based molecular engineering. We expect more high-performance dyes will be created soon and thus greatly aiding the development of super-resolution microscopy," said Assistant Professor Liu Xiaogang from SUTD.

"In addition to brightness, other characteristics such as photostability and photo-activation properties need to be optimized to meet the stringent requirements of SMLM. We look forward to working closely with computational chemists to further advance the rational design of dyes for super-resolution imaging," added Professor Xiao Yi from DUT.
-end-


Singapore University of Technology and Design

Related Fluorophores Articles from Brightsurf:

Finding a handle to bag the right proteins
A method that lights up tags attached to selected proteins can help to purify the proteins from a mixed protein pool.

Super-resolution microscopy reveals a twist inside of cells
EPFL biophysicists have developed a high-throughput super-resolution microscope to probe nanoscale structures and dynamics of mammalian cells, showing in unprecedented detail the twists and turns of an organelle important for cell division.

Rice lab turns fluorescent tags into cancer killers
Fluorophores with one oxygen atom replaced by a sulfur atom can be triggered with light to create reactive oxygen species within cancer cells, killing them.

General descriptor sparks advancements in dye chemistry
SUTD collaborates with international researchers to move away from inefficient trial-and-error developments in dye chemistry and quantitatively design luminescent materials.

WashU engineer awarded federal funding for rapid COVID-19 test
Engineers at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St.

Images reveal how bacteria form communities on the human tongue
Using a recently developed fluorescent imaging technique, researchers in the United States have developed high-resolution maps of microbial communities on the human tongue.

A pigment from ancient Egypt to modern microscopy
Egyptian blue is one of the oldest manmade colour pigments.

SR-FACT microscopy reveals the landscape of the cellular organelle interactome
We developed super-resolution fluorescence-assisted diffraction computational tomography(SR-FACT), which combines three-dimensional optical diffraction tomography with two-dimensional fluorescence Hessian structured illumination microscopy.

Anti-carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule antibody for fluorescence visualization
Oncotarget Volume 11, Issue 4: The research team's aim was to investigate mAb 6G5j binding characteristics and to validate fluorescence targeting of colorectal tumors and metastases in patient derived orthotopic xenograft models with fluorescently labeled 6G5j.

Blue mushroom dye used to develop new fluorescent tool for cell biologists
A new fluorescent tool for detecting reactive oxygen species based on a chemical found in mushrooms has been developed by scientists at the University of Bath.

Read More: Fluorophores News and Fluorophores Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.