The molecular machinery of life is founded on chiral building blocks, but no experimental technique is currently available to distinguish or monitor chiral systems in live cell bio-imaging studies. Luminescent chiral molecules encode a unique optical fingerprint within emitted circularly polarized light (CPL) carrying information about the molecular environment, conformation, and binding state. Here, we present a CPL Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope (CPL-LSCM) capable of simultaneous chiroptical contrast based live-cell imaging of endogenous and engineered CPL-active cellular probes. Further, we demonstrate that CPL-active probes can be activated using two-photon excitation, with complete CPL spectrum recovery. The combination of these two milestone results empowers the multidisciplinary imaging community, allowing the study of chiral interactions on a sub-cellular level in a new (chiral) light.
Stachelek, P., MacKenzie, L., Parker, D., & Pal, R. (2022). Circularly polarised luminescence laser scanning confocal microscopy to study live cell chiral molecular interactions. Nature Communications, 13(1), Article 533. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-28220-z
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