Research Achievements

August 17, 2017  PRESS RELEASE

Super-photostable fluorescent labeling agent for super-resolution microscopy ~ A powerful tool for 3D and multicolor STED imaging of cellular ultrastructure ~

Chemists at ITbM, Nagoya University have developed a super-photostable fluorescent dye, PhoxBright 430 (PB430), to visualize cellular ultrastructure by super resolution microscopy. The exceptional photostability of this new dye enables continuous STED imaging and together with its ability to fluorescently label proteins, PB430 demonstrates its use in the 3D construction and multicolor imaging of biological structures.

press released on August 17, 2017


Fig.1: Molecular structure of the super-photostable fluorescent labeling agent, PhoxBright430 (PB430). 

PB430 consists of a fully ring-fused π-conjugated skeleton with an electron accepting phosphole P-oxide unit, which is responsible for its high photostability. The carboxylic acid of the molecule can be converted to the N-hydroxylsuccinimidyl (NHS) ester, which allows conjugation to biomolecules. Sulfonate groups ensure high solubility of the molecule in water.



Nagoya, Japan - Super resolution fluorescence microscopy, which has been acknowledged by the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, allows us to visualize biological systems and gain a detailed understanding of the complex dynamics of biomolecules. In particular, stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy is widely utilized to examine various processes in living systems, due to its fast acquisition speed and compatibility for various biological samples.


Chemists at the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University have developed a new photostable fluorescent dye, PhoxBright 430 (PB430), which enables continuous super resolution STED imaging of fluorescently labeled cells. As PB430 contains a functional moiety to allow conjugation with an antibody, specific biomolecule targets within a cell can be stained by immunofluorescence. The exceptional photostability of PB430 has proven to be useful in constructing a 3D-STED image of microtubules (tube-shaped protein structures that form the cytoskeleton, which is the internal framework of a cell) and achieve multicolor STED imaging of fluorescently immunolabeled cytoskeletons by the combination of photostable PB430 and commercially available dyes.


The unique properties of PB430 make it a powerful tool to reveal the structures and functions of cells, and has the potential to be applied for prolonged visualization of the movement of organelles and molecules within cells. The results of this study are recently reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society......>>read more on the ITbM website



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