Proc. SPIE. 10069, Multiphoton Microscopy in the Biomedical Sciences XVII
KEYWORDS: Detection and tracking algorithms, Particles, Luminescence, Molecules, Energy transfer, Diffusion, Macromolecules, Single photon, Life sciences, Electron multiplying charge coupled devices, Fluorescence lifetime imaging, Algorithm development, Acousto-optics, Feedback control
Fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) has been a powerful tool in life science because it can reveal the interactions of an excited fluorescent molecule and its environment. The combination with two-photon excitation (TPE) and timecorrelated single photon counting (TCSPC) provides it the ability of optical sectioning, high time resolution and detection efficiency. In previous work, we have introduced a two-dimensional acousto-optic deflector (AOD) into TCSPC-based FLIM to achieve fast and flexible FLIM. In this work, we combined the AOD-FLIM system with a single particle tracking (SPT) setup and algorithm and developed an SPT-FLIM system. Using the system, we acquired the trajectory and fluorescence lifetime of a moving particle simultaneously and reconstructed a life-time-marked pseudocolored trajectory, which might reflect dynamic interaction between the moving particle and its local environment along its motion trail. The results indicated the potential of the technique for studying the interaction between specific moving biological macromolecules and the ambient micro-environment in live cells.
Probing of local molecular environment in cells is of significant value in creating a fundamental understanding of cellular processes and molecular profiles of diseases, as well as studying drug cell interactions. In order to investigate the dynamically changing in subcellular environment during RNA synthesis, we applied two-photon excited fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) method to monitor the green fluorescent protein (GFP) fused nuclear protein ASF/SF2. The fluorescence lifetime of fluorophore is known to be in inverse correlation with a local refractive index, and thus fluorescence lifetimes of GFP fusions provide real-time information of the molecular environment of ASF/SF2- GFP. The FLIM results showed continuous and significant fluctuations of fluorescence lifetimes of the fluorescent protein fusions in live HeLa cells under physiological conditions. The fluctuations of fluorescence lifetime values indicated the variations of activities of RNA polymerases. Moreover, treatment with pharmacological drugs inhibiting RNA polymerase activities led to irreversible decreases of fluorescence lifetime values. In summary, our study of FLIM imaging of GFP fusion proteins has provided a sensitive and real-time method to investigate RNA synthesis in live cell nuclei.
We report a dynamic fluorescence lifetime imaging (D-FLIM) system that is based on a pair of acousto-optic deflectors for the random regions of interest (ROI) study in the sample. The two-dimensional acousto-optic deflector devices are used to rapidly scan the femtosecond excitation laser beam across the sample, providing specific random access to the ROI. Our experimental results using standard fluorescent dyes in live cancer cells demonstrate that the D-FLIM system can dynamically monitor the changing process of the microenvironment in the ROI in live biological samples.