Teamwork by chemists in two University of Oregon labs has led to a new class of fluorescent dyes that could expand the real-time view of cell activity in medical diagnostics.
In a paper in ACS Central Science, with White as lead author, the group detailed how they fitted organic molecules called nanohoops with a chemical sidechain of sulfonate to make them water soluble and able to penetrate cell membranes. Nanohoops are made with short, circular slices of carbon atoms. Making them in different sizes, the group discovered, produces distinctive colors that can be illuminated in living cells by a single laser burst.
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