High-throughput microscopic screening instruments can generate huge collections of images of live cells incubated with combinatorial libraries of fluorescent molecules. Organizing and visualizing these images to discern biologically important patterns that link back to chemical structure is a challenge. We present an analysis and visualization methodology - Cheminformatic Assisted Image Array (CAIA) - that greatly facilitates data mining efforts. For illustration, we considered a collection of microscopic images acquired from cells incubated with each member of a combinatorial library of styryl molecules being screened for candidate bioimaging probes. By sorting CAIAs based on quantitative image features, the relative contribution of each combinatorial building block on probe intracellular distribution could be visually discerned. The results revealed trends hidden in the dataset: most interestingly, the building blocks of the styryl molecules appeared to behave as chemical address tags, additively and independently encoding spatial patterns of intracellular fluorescence. Translated into practice, CAIA facilitated discovery of several outstanding styryl molecules for live cell nuclear imaging applications.
Cheminformatics; high content screening; combinatorial library; styryl; fluorescence; bioimaging; chemical address tags; QSAR; CAIA
Chemical address tags can be defined as specific structural features shared by a set of bioimaging probes having a predictable influence on cell-associated visual signals obtained from these probes. Here, using a large image dataset acquired with a high content screening instrument, machine vision and cheminformatics analysis have been applied to reveal chemical address tags. With a combinatorial library of fluorescent molecules, fluorescence signal intensity, spectral, and spatial features characterizing each one of the probes' visual signals were extracted from images acquired with the three different excitation and emission channels of the imaging instrument. With multivariate regression, the additive contribution from each one of the different building blocks of the bioimaging probes towards each measured, cell-associated image-based feature was calculated. In this manner, variations in the chemical features of the molecules were associated with the resulting staining patterns, facilitating quantitative, objective analysis of chemical address tags. Hierarchical clustering and paired image-cheminformatics analysis revealed key structure-property relationships amongst many building blocks of the fluorescent molecules. The results point to different chemical modifications of the bioimaging probes that can exert similar (or different) effects on the probes' visual signals. Inspection of the clustered structures suggests intramolecular charge migration or partial charge distribution as potential mechanistic determinants of chemical address tag behavior.
Cheminformatics; machine vision; bioimaging; fluorescence; high content screening; image cytometry; combinatorial chemistry
In recent years, new microscopic imaging techniques have evolved to allow us to visualize several different proteins (or other biomolecules) in a visual field. Analysis of protein co-localization becomes viable because molecules can interact only when they are located close to each other. We present a novel approach to align images in a multi-tag fluorescence image stack. The proposed approach is applicable to multi-tag bioimaging systems which (a) acquire fluorescence images by sequential staining and (b) simultaneously capture a phase contrast image corresponding to each of the fluorescence images. To the best of our knowledge, there is no existing method in the literature, which addresses simultaneous registration of multi-tag bioimages and selection of the reference image in order to maximize the overall overlap between the images.
We employ a block-based method for registration, which yields a confidence measure to indicate the accuracy of our registration results. We derive a shift metric in order to select the Reference Image with Maximal Overlap (RIMO), in turn minimizing the total amount of non-overlapping signal for a given number of tags. Experimental results show that the Robust Alignment of Multi-Tag Bioimages (RAMTaB) framework is robust to variations in contrast and illumination, yields sub-pixel accuracy, and successfully selects the reference image resulting in maximum overlap. The registration results are also shown to significantly improve any follow-up protein co-localization studies.
For the discovery of protein complexes and of functional protein networks within a cell, alignment of the tag images in a multi-tag fluorescence image stack is a key pre-processing step. The proposed framework is shown to produce accurate alignment results on both real and synthetic data. Our future work will use the aligned multi-channel fluorescence image data for normal and diseased tissue specimens to analyze molecular co-expression patterns and functional protein networks.
Modeling the local absorption and retention patterns of membrane-permeant small molecules in a cellular context could facilitate development of site-directed chemical agents for bioimaging or therapeutic applications. Here, we present an integrative approach to this problem, combining in silico computational models, in vitro cell based assays and in vivo biodistribution studies. To target small molecule probes to the epithelial cells of the upper airways, a multiscale computational model of the lung was first used as a screening tool, in silico. Following virtual screening, cell monolayers differentiated on microfabricated pore arrays and multilayer cultures of primary human bronchial epithelial cells differentiated in an air-liquid interface were used to test the local absorption and intracellular retention patterns of selected probes, in vitro. Lastly, experiments involving visualization of bioimaging probe distribution in the lungs after local and systemic administration were used to test the relevance of computational models and cell-based assays, in vivo. The results of in vivo experiments were consistent with the results of in silico simulations, indicating that mitochondrial accumulation of membrane permeant, hydrophilic cations can be used to maximize local exposure and retention, specifically in the upper airways after intratracheal administration.
We have developed an integrative, cell-based modeling approach to facilitate the design and discovery of chemical agents directed to specific sites of action within a living organism. Here, a computational, multiscale transport model of the lung was adapted to enable virtual screening of small molecules targeting the epithelial cells of the upper airways. In turn, the transport behaviors of selected candidate probes were evaluated to establish their degree of retention at a site of absorption, using computational simulations as well as two in vitro cell-based assay systems. Lastly, bioimaging experiments were performed to examine candidate molecules' distribution in the lungs of mice after local and systemic administration. Based on computational simulations, the higher mitochondrial density per unit absorption surface area is the key parameter determining the higher retention of small molecule hydrophilic cations in the upper airways, relative to lipophilic weak bases, specifically after intratracheal administration.
Research into the biological role of the Ca2+-releasing second messenger NAADP (nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate) has been hampered by a lack of chemical probes. To find new chemical probes for exploring NAADP signaling, we turned to virtual screening, which can evaluate millions of molecules rapidly and inexpensively. We used NAADP as the query ligand to screen the chemical library ZINC for compounds with 3D-shape and electrostatic similarity. We tested the top-ranking hits in a sea urchin egg bioassay and found that one hit, Ned-19, blocks NAADP signaling at nanomolar concentrations. In intact cells, Ned-19 blocked NAADP signaling and fluorescently labeled NAADP receptors. Moreover, we show the utility of Ned-19 as a chemical probe by using it to demonstrate that NAADP is a key causal link between glucose sensing and Ca2+ increases in mouse pancreatic beta cells.
Peptide aptamers provide probes for biological processes and adjuncts for development of novel pharmaceutical molecules. Such aptamers are analogous to compounds derived from combinatorial chemical libraries which have specific binding or inhibitory activities. Much as it is generally difficult to determine the composition of combinatorial chemical libraries in a quantitative manner, determining the quality and characteristics of peptide libraries displayed in vivo is problematical. To help address these issues we have adapted green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a scaffold for display of conformationally constrained peptides. The GFP-peptide libraries permit analysis of library diversity and expression levels in cells and allow enrichment of the libraries for sequences with predetermined characteristics, such as high expression of correctly folded protein, by selection for high fluorescence.
A partially overlapping population of random sequence 60mer DNA molecules consisting of many concatamers of varied lengths was spatially separated in one and two dimensions by electrophoresis in polyacrylamide and transferred to nitrocellulose membranes. The spatially separated library serves as a potential sensor interface on which many different molecular recognition events or target analyte-binding patterns may emerge, thereby theoretically representing a “universal sensor” surface. The separated DNA library has been referred to as a DNA combinatorial array recognition surface or “CARS.” After UV baking and various fluorescence staining or fluorescent probe interactions, the one-dimensional (1-D) and 2-D membrane-bound CARS were digitally photographed and subjected to image analysis with National Institutes of Health Image-Java software. Image analysis demonstrated relatively consistent and more similar spatial fluorescence patterns within CARS analyte treatment groups but noteworthy pattern differences before and after analyte addition and between different analyte treatments. Taken together, these data suggest a potential role for CARS as a novel, inexpensive, self-assembling universal molecular recognition surface that could be coupled to sophisticated Bayesian or other pattern recognition algorithms to classify analytes or make specific identifications, much like the senses of smell or taste.
aptamer; 2-D electrophoresis; fluorescence; hybridization; pattern recognition; random library; universal sensor
In recent years, the deluge of complicated molecular and cellular microscopic images creates compelling challenges for the image computing community. There has been an increasing focus on developing novel image processing, data mining, database and visualization techniques to extract, compare, search and manage the biological knowledge in these data-intensive problems. This emerging new area of bioinformatics can be called ‘bioimage informatics’. This article reviews the advances of this field from several aspects, including applications, key techniques, available tools and resources. Application examples such as high-throughput/high-content phenotyping and atlas building for model organisms demonstrate the importance of bioimage informatics. The essential techniques to the success of these applications, such as bioimage feature identification, segmentation and tracking, registration, annotation, mining, image data management and visualization, are further summarized, along with a brief overview of the available bioimage databases, analysis tools and other resources.
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Motivation: Bioimaging techniques rapidly develop toward higher resolution and dimension. The increase in dimension is achieved by different techniques such as multitag fluorescence imaging, Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption / Ionization (MALDI) imaging or Raman imaging, which record for each pixel an N-dimensional intensity array, representing local abundances of molecules, residues or interaction patterns. The analysis of such multivariate bioimages (MBIs) calls for new approaches to support users in the analysis of both feature domains: space (i.e. sample morphology) and molecular colocation or interaction. In this article, we present our approach WHIDE (Web-based Hyperbolic Image Data Explorer) that combines principles from computational learning, dimension reduction and visualization in a free web application.
Results: We applied WHIDE to a set of MBI recorded using the multitag fluorescence imaging Toponome Imaging System. The MBI show field of view in tissue sections from a colon cancer study and we compare tissue from normal/healthy colon with tissue classified as tumor. Our results show, that WHIDE efficiently reduces the complexity of the data by mapping each of the pixels to a cluster, referred to as Molecular Co-Expression Phenotypes and provides a structural basis for a sophisticated multimodal visualization, which combines topology preserving pseudocoloring with information visualization. The wide range of WHIDE's applicability is demonstrated with examples from toponome imaging, high content screens and MALDI imaging (shown in the Supplementary Material).
Availability and implementation: The WHIDE tool can be accessed via the BioIMAX website http://ani.cebitec.uni-bielefeld.de/BioIMAX/; Login: whidetestuser; Password: whidetest.
Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
In the title compound, C11H10NO3
−·H2O, the planar 8-carboxymethoxyquinolinium cation, the nitrate anion and the water molecule are dimerized by hydrogen bonds into square building-block units, and then further assembled into two-dimensional gently undulating supramolecular layers.
Spectroscopic responses of the potentiometric probe 2-(4-(dimethylamino)styryl)-1-methylpyridinium iodide (DASPMI) were investigated in living cells by means of a time- and space-correlated single photon counting technique. Spatially resolved fluorescence decays from single mitochondria or only a very few organelles of XTH2 cells exhibited three-exponential decay kinetics. Based on DASPMI photophysics in a variety of solvents, these lifetimes were attributed to the fluorescence from the locally excited state, intramolecular charge transfer state, and twisted intramolecular charge transfer state. A considerable variation in lifetimes among mitochondria of different morphologies and within single cells was evident, corresponding to high physiological variations within single cells. Considerable shortening of the short lifetime component (τ1) under a high-membrane-potential condition, such as in the presence of ATP and/or substrate, was similar to quenching and a dramatic decrease of lifetime in polar solvents. Under these conditions τ2 and τ3 increased with decreasing contribution. Inhibiting respiration by cyanide resulted in a notable increase in the mean lifetime and a decrease in mitochondrial fluorescence. Increased DASPMI fluorescence under conditions that elevate the mitochondrial membrane potential has been attributed to uptake according to Nernst distributions, delocalization of π-electrons, quenching processes of the methyl pyridinium moiety, and restricted torsional dynamics at the mitochondrial inner membrane. Accordingly, determination of anisotropy in DASPMI-stained mitochondria in living cells revealed a dependence of anisotropy on the membrane potential. The direct influence of the local electric field on the transition dipole moment of the probe and its torsional dynamics monitor changes in mitochondrial energy status within living cells.
Targeted molecular imaging with two-photon fluorescence microscopy (2PFM) is a powerful technique for chemical biology and, potentially, for non-invasive diagnosis and treatment of a number of diseases. The synthesis, photophysical studies, and bioimaging are reported for a versatile norbornene-based block copolymer multifunctional scaffold containing biocompatible (PEG), two-photon fluorescent dyes (fluorenyl), and targeting (cyclic-RGD peptide) moieties. The two bioconjugates, containing two different fluorenyl dyes and cRGDfK covalently attached to the polymer probe, formed a spherical micelle and self-assembled structure in water, for which size was analyzed by TEM and DLS. Cell-viability and 2PFM imaging of human epithelial U87MG cell lines that over express αvβ3 integrin was performed via incubation with the new probes, along with negative control studies using MCF-7 breast cancer cells and blocking experiments. 2PFM microscopy confirmed the high selectivity of the biocompatible probe in the integrin rich area in the U87MF cells while blocking as well as negative control MCF-7 experiments confirmed the integrin targeting ability of the new probes.
Water-soluble block copolymer probe; ROMP; two-photon bioimaging; integrin targeting
We describe novel imaging protocols that allow detection of small cancer cell colonies deep inside tissue phantoms with high sensitivity and specificity. We compare fluorescence excited in Styryl-9M molecules by femtosecond pulses at near IR wavelengths, where Styryl-9M shows the largest dependence of the two-photon absorption (2PA) cross section on the local environment. We show that by calculating the normalized ratio of the two-photon excited fluorescence (2PEF) intensity at 1200 nm and 1100 nm excitation wavelengths we can achieve high sensitivity and specificity for determining the location of cancer cells surrounded by normal cells. The 2PEF results showed a positive correlation with the levels of MDR1 proteins expressed by the cells, and, for high MDR1 expressors, as few as ten cancer cells could be detected. Similar high sensitivity is also demonstrated for tumor colonies induced in mouse external ears. This technique could be useful in early cancer detection, and, perhaps, also in monitoring dormant cancer deposits.
(170.3880) Medical and biological imaging; (190.4180) Multiphoton processes
A two-photon absorbing (2PA) and aggregation-enhanced near infrared (NIR) emitting pyran derivative, encapsulated in and stabilized by silica nanoparticles (SiNPs), is reported as a nanoprobe for two-photon fluorescence microscopy (2PFM) bioimaging that overcomes fluorescence quenching associated with high chromophore loading. The new SiNP probe exhibited aggregate-enhanced emission producing nearly twice as strong signal as the unaggregated dye, a three-fold increase in two-photon absorption relative to the DFP in solution, and approx. four-fold increase in photostability. The surface of the nanoparticles was functionalized with a folic acid (FA) derivative for folate-mediated delivery of the nanoprobe for 2PFM bioimaging. Surface modification of SiNPs with the FA derivative was supported by zeta potential variation and 1H NMR spectral characterization of the SiNPs as a function of surface modification. In vitro studies using HeLa cells expressing folate receptor (FR) indicated specific cellular uptake of the functionalized nanoparticles. The nanoprobe was demonstrated for FRtargeted one-photon in vivo imaging of HeLa tumor xenograft in mice upon intravenous injection of the probe. The FR-targeting nanoprobe not only exhibited highly selective tumor targeting but also readily extravasated from tumor vessels, penetrated into the tumor parenchyma, and was internalized by the tumor cells. Two-photon fluorescence microscopy bioimaging provided three-dimensional (3D) cellular-level resolution imaging up to 350 µm deep in the HeLa tumor.
Aggregation enhanced emission; near infrared emission; folate receptor targeting; two-photon absorption; two-photon fluorescence microscopy; silica nanoparticles; HeLa tumor; in vivo imaging; ex vivo imaging
Cannabinoid CB2 receptor has emerged as a very promising target over the last decades. We have synthesized and evaluated a new fluorescent probe designated NMP6 based on 6-methoxyisatin scaffold, which exhibited selectivity and Ki value at hCB2 of 387 nM. We have demonstrated its ability to be an effective probe for visualization of CB2 receptor binding using confocal microscopy and a flow cytometry probe for the analysis of CB2 protein expression. Furthermore, NMP6 was easily obtained in two chemical steps from commercially available building blocks.
Hybrid combinatorial chemistry strategies that use DNA as an information-carrying medium are proving to be powerful tools for molecular discovery. In order to extend these efforts, we present a highly parallel format for DNA-programmed chemical library synthesis. The new format uses a standard microwell plate footprint and is compatible with commercially available automation technology. It can accommodate a wide variety of combinatorial synthetic schemes with up to 384 different building blocks per chemical step. We demonstrate that fluidic routing of DNA populations in the highly parallel format occurs with excellent specificity, and that chemistry on DNA arrayed into 384 well plates proceeds robustly, two requirements for the high-fidelity translation and efficient in vitro evolution of small molecules.
Fluorescent probes, which allow visualization of cations such as Ca2+, Zn2+ etc., small biomolecules such as nitric oxide (NO) or enzyme activities in living cells by means of fluorescence microscopy, have become indispensable tools for clarifying functions in biological systems. This review deals with the general principles for the design of bioimaging fluorescent probes by modulating the fluorescence properties of fluorophores, employing mechanisms such as acceptor-excited Photoinduced electron Transfer (a-PeT), donor-excited Photoinduced electron Transfer (d-PeT), and spirocyclization, which have been established by our group. The a-PeT and d-PeT mechanisms are widely applicable for the design of bioimaging probes based on many fluorophores and the spirocyclization process is also expected to be useful as a fluorescence off/on switching mechanism. Fluorescence modulation mechanisms are essential for the rational design of novel fluorescence probes for target molecules. Based on these mechanisms, we have developed more than fifty bioimaging probes, of which fourteen are commercially available. The review also describes some applications of the probes developed by our group to in vitro and in vivo systems.
probe; bioimaging; photoinduced electron transfer; fluorescence; spirocyclization
Herein we demonstrate for the first time that a fluorogenic probe can be used as an in vivo imaging agent for visualizing activities of membrane-tethered, membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases (MT-MMPs). An MT-MMP fluorogenic probe that consisted of an MT1-MMP (MMP-14) substrate and near-infrared (NIR) dye-quencher pair exhibited rapid, efficient boosts in fluorescence upon cleavage by MT1-MMP in tumor-bearing mice. In particular, unlike similar fluorogenic probes designed to target extracellular, soluble-type MMPs (EC-MMPs)--which can be cleared from the blood stream after activation--the fluorescence signals activated by MT1-MMP enable clear visualization of MT1-MMP-positive tumors in animal models for up to 24 hours. The results indicate that a simple form of a fluorogenic probe that is less effective in EC-MMP imaging is an effective probe for imaging MT-MMP activities in vivo. These findings can be widely applied to designing probes and to applications targeting various membrane-anchored proteases in vivo.
activatable probe; fluorogenic probe; membrane-type matrix metalloproteinase; optical imaging; protease
Over the last twenty years there have been great advances in light microscopy with the result that multi-dimensional imaging has driven a revolution in modern biology. The development of new approaches of data acquisition are reportedly frequently, and yet the significant data management and analysis challenges presented by these new complex datasets remains largely unsolved. Like the well-developed field of genome bioinformatics, central repositories are and will be key resources, but there is a critical need for informatics tools in individual laboratories to help manage, share, visualize, and analyze image data. In this article we present the recent efforts by the bioimage informatics community to tackle these challenges and discuss our own vision for future development of bioimage informatics solution.
microscopy; file formats; image management; image analysis; image processing
FISH probes are generally made out of BAC clones with genomic DNA containing a variable amount of repetitive DNA that will need to be removed or blocked for FISH analysis. To generate repeat free (RF) Probes without loss in genomic coverage, a random library is made from BAC clones by whole-genome amplification (WGA). Libraries are denatured in the presence of excess C0t-1 DNA and allowed to re-anneal followed by digestion of all double-stranded elements by duplex-specific nuclease (DSN). Selective amplification of all elements not containing repetitive sequences is realized by a sequential amplification. The final RF products can be re-amplified and used as a stock for future probe production. The RF probes have a lower background, the signal intensity build up is faster and there is no need for blocking DNA. The signal to background ratio of the RF was higher as compared to repeat containing probes.
A multiple criteria approach is presented, that is used to perform a comparative analysis of four recently developed combinatorial libraries to drugs, Molecular Libraries Small Molecule Repository (MLSMR) and natural products. The compound databases were assessed in terms of physicochemical properties, scaffolds and fingerprints. The approach enables the analysis of property space coverage, degree of overlap between collections, scaffold and structural diversity and overall structural novelty. The degree of overlap between combinatorial libraries and drugs was assessed using the R-NN curve methodology, which measures the density of chemical space around a query molecule embedded in the chemical space of a target collection. The combinatorial libraries studied in this work exhibit scaffolds that were not observed in the drug, MLSMR and natural products collections. The fingerprint-based comparisons indicate that these combinatorial libraries are structurally different to current drugs. The R-NN curve methodology revealed that a proportion of molecules in the combinatorial libraries are located within the property space of the drugs. However, the R-NN analysis also showed that there are a significant number of molecules in several combinatorial libraries that are located in sparse regions of the drug space.
When mixed with water, n-octyl-β-D-glucoside forms self-assembled nanostructures, several of which are liquid crystalline and all of which depend on the water/glucoside ratio and temperature. For practical use of these phases, a detailed understanding of the conditions under which they exist (i.e., the isobaric phase diagram) is required. We use the fluorescence of the dye molecule prodan as a new approach to probe the phases formed in these mixtures. The prodan fluorescence signal depends on the polarity of its environment and thus the phase(s) in which the dye exists. Visual inspection of the total fluorescence signal can qualitatively determine the phases present, including co-existing phases. Temperature-induced phase changes are also detected from variations observed in the prodan fluorescence spectrum. The sensitivity of this new technique allows the single and multiple phase regions to be mapped carefully for the first time.
lyotropic; fluorescence; alkyl glucoside; phase diagram; surfactant; phase coexistence
Cell motility is required for many biological processes. To study crawling cells, we describe the use of Fluorescent Speckle Microscopy (FSM) to capture high-resolution images of actin dynamics in migrating PtK1 cells. A unique advantage of FSM is its ability to capture the movement and turnover kinetics (assembly/disassembly) of the F-actin network within living cells. This technique is particularly useful in deriving quantitative measurements of F-actin dynamics when paired with computer vision software (qFSM). We describe the selection, microinjection and visualization of fluorescent actin probes in living cells. Importantly, similar procedures are applicable to visualizing other macomolecular assemblies. FSM has been demonstrated for microtubules, intermediate filaments, and adhesion complexes. We will demonstrate the microinjection of fluorescently labeled F-actin into migratory epithelial cells, highlighting equipment requirements and technical tips to successfully acquire speckle images.
FSM; qFSM; speckle; actin; cytoskeleton; fluorescence; microscopy; microinjection
Styryl dyes (also referred to as FM dyes) become highly fluorescent upon binding to membranes and are often used to study synaptic vesicle recycling in neurons. To date, direct comparisons of the fluorescent properties, or time-resolved (millisecond) measurements of dye•membrane binding and unbinding reactions, for all members of this family of probes, have not been reported. Here, we compare the fluorescence intensities of each member of the FM dye family when bound to membranes; this analysis included SGC5, a new lipophilic fluorescent dye with a unique structure. Fluorescence intensities depended on the length of the lipophilic tail of each dye, with a rank order of: SGC5 > FM1–84 > FM1–43 > SynaptoGreen C3 > FM2–10/FM4–64/FM5–95. Stopped-flow measurements revealed that dye hydrophobicity determined the affinity and departitioning rates for dye•membrane interactions. All of the dyes dissociated from membranes on the millisecond timescale, which is orders of magnitude faster than the overall destaining rate (~s) of these dyes from presynaptic boutons. Departitioning kinetics were faster at higher temperatures, but were unaffected by pH or cholesterol. The data reported here aid interpretation of dye release kinetics from single synaptic vesicles, and indicate that these probes dissociate from membranes on more rapid timescales than previously appreciated.
FM dye; exocytosis; kiss-and-run; fusion pore; synaptic vesicle
Closely involved in the progression of nonlinear bioimaging is the development of optical probes for investigating biological function and activity. Introduction of new fluorescent compounds possessing enhanced nonlinearities are essential for advancing the utility of two-photon absorption (2PA) processes in the biological sciences. Herein, we report the synthesis of fluorene-based fluorophores tailored for multiphoton imaging, incorporating the succinimidyl ester and thioester functionality as reactive linkers for further coupling with a wide variety of biologically relevant molecules. The succinimidyl ester amine reactive probe was conjugated with the cyclic peptide RGDfK and polyclonal anti-rat IgG IgG protein. Upon conjugation, the basic molecular architecture and photophysical properties of the active 2PA chromophore remain unchanged. Conventional and two-photon fluorescence microscopy (2PFM) imaging of COS-7 and HeLa cells, incubated with either the fluorene-RGD peptide conjugate or the fluorene-IgG conjugate, was demonstrated. The fluorene-IgG conjugate was used to image cell spindles at early mitotic developmental stages.