Chemical tools for single-molecule imaging in live cells


NaMeS students are invited to IPC PAS Seminar within Dream Chemistry Lecture Series delivered by:

Prof. Dr. Pablo Rivera-Fuentes

Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry and Applied Bioscences,

ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 10.00


Assembly hall of the IPC PAS


Single-molecule imaging enables the observation of cellular structures with nanometric resolution. In densely labeled samples, however, emission from molecules that are closer than the diffraction limit of light appear as a single signal. To enable the localization of such molecules beyond the diffraction limit, photoactivatable or photoswitchable dyes have been developed. In recent work, we extended this concept to combine photoactivation and other chemical processes to tackle some of the current challenges in single-molecule imaging. For example, we have developed probes that enable the observation of single molecules of enzymes based on their activity. We have also created fluorophores with a polarity-dependent photoactivation mechanism, allowing to image intracellular lipid domains with nanometric resolution. Moreover, dyes that combine photoactivation and fluxional equilibria have allowed us to perform very long time-lapse, super-resolved imaging of synaptic vesicles in live human neurons with minimal phototoxicity or photobleaching. These experiments have revealed details of the 3D compartmentalization of these vesicles.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 711859.