Single-molecule fluorescence techniques have emerged as a powerful approach to understanding complex biological systems. However, a challenge researchers still face is the limited photostability of nearly all organic fluorophores, including the cyanine and Alexa dyes. We report a new, monovalent probe that emits in the far-red region of the visible spectrum with properties desirable for single-molecule optical imaging. This probe is based on a ring-fused boron-dipyrromethene (BODIPY) core that is conjugated to a polyglycerol dendrimer (PGD). The dendrimer makes the hydrophobic fluorophore water-soluble. This probe exhibits excellent brightness, with an emission maximum of 705 nm. We have observed strikingly long and stable emission from individual PGD-BODIPY probes, even in the absence of anti-fading agents such as Trolox, a combined oxidizing-reducing agent often used in single-molecule studies for improving the photostability of common imaging probes. These interesting properties greatly simplify use of the fluorophore.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)