A new approach to replace a single atom grants Multicolor Activated Fluorescent Dyes

Biomedical science owes a lot to fluorescent dyes. The discovery of green fluorescent protein, GFP for example bagged the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In order to study the dynamic processes within biological tissues in a better way, scientists all around have been working to enhance fluorescent dyes post the discovery of green fluorescent protein.

These dyes are normally activated by using ultraviolet light. However; a major issue with using ultraviolet light is that it may damage the cells to the extent that their behavior may alter in a certain way. Naturally such a situation will compromise the experimental data and thus the entire experiment. In case the experiment is a long- term one, the cells may start dying even before the deductions and results of the experiment come out.

Finally now an alternative to activate the fluorescent dye without having to use ultraviolet light has been discovered by the researchers at Rice University. Visible light; their solution does not impact majority of living cells that thus make it possible to trigger a variety of fluorescent dyes without damaging any cells. Long- term super- resolution studies of both cells and tissues are now possible with their solution and as a consequence many opportunities in the field of bio-medicine may now seem feasible.

Fluorophores, which are used rather commonly, have an atom of sulfur substituted by one atom of oxygen forming the basis of this new technology that the researchers at the Rice University have come up with. The reason behind doing that is simply to equip these fluorophores with the ability to turn on and off to low energy light. The scope of individual studies can be widened as this process can be adopted for a wide range of fluorophores, each one of them reacting to a different light and wavelength.

Ana Fischer

Ana Fischer is the acting CEO and executive director of the commercial USA Association of the States Pharmaceutical Industry. She has been registered with the General Dental Council for three years as a dental care professional and has worked in a variety of clinical roles as well as her current academic position, some examples are within community, private and mixed practice.

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