Conventional Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) processes involving a pair of fluorophore and organic quencher are restricted to an upper distance limit of ~10 nm. The application of a metal nanoparticle as a quencher can overcome the distance barrier of the traditional FRET technique. However, no standard distance dependence of this resonance energy transfer (RET) process has been firmly established. We have investigated the nonradiative energy transfer process between an organic donor (fluorescein) and gold nanoparticle quencher connected by double stranded (ds) DNA. The quenching efficiency of the gold nanoparticle as a function of distance between the donor and acceptor was determined by time-resolved lifetime analyses of the donor. Our results showed a 1/d4 distance dependence for the RET process for longer distances (>10 nm) and 1/d6 distance dependence for shorter distances (<10 nm). Our results clearly indicate the applicability of metal nanoparticle based quenchers for studying systems that exceed the 10 nm FRET barrier.
(170.6280) Spectroscopy, fluorescence and luminescence; (160.4236) Nanomaterials
Conjugated polydiacetylene (PDA) possessing stimuli-responsive properties has been intensively investigated for developing efficient sensors. We report here fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) in liposomes synthesized using different molar ratios of dansyl-tagged diacetylene and diacetylene–carboxylic acid monomers. Photopolymerization of diacetylene resulted in cross-linked PDA liposomes. We used steady-state electronic absorption, emission, and fluorescence anisotropy (FA) analysis to characterize the thermal-induced FRET between dansyl fluorophores (donor) and PDA (acceptor). We found that the monomer ratio of acceptor to donor (Rad) and length of linkers (functional part that connects dansyl fluorophores to the diacetylene group in the monomer) strongly affected FRET. For Rad = 10 000, the acceptor emission intensity was amplified by more than 18 times when the liposome solution was heated from 298 to 338 K. A decrease in Rad resulted in diminished acceptor emission amplification. This was primarily attributed to lower FRET efficiency between donors and acceptors and a higher background signal. We also found that the FRET amplification of PDA emissions after heating the solution was much higher when dansyl was linked to diacetylene through longer and flexible linkers than through shorter linkers. We attributed this to insertion of dansyl in the bilayer of the liposomes, which led to an increased dansyl quantum yield and a higher interaction of multiple acceptors with limited available donors. This was not the case for shorter and more rigid linkers where PDA amplification was much smaller. The present studies aim at enhancing our understanding of FRET between fluorophores and PDA-based conjugated liposomes. Furthermore, receptor tagged onto PDA liposomes can interact with ligands present on proteins, enzymes, and cells, which will produce emission sensing signal. Therefore, using the present approach, there exist opportunities for designing FRET-based highly sensitive and selective chemical and biochemical sensors.
We characterized the resonance energy transfer interactions for conjugates consisting of QD donors self-assembled with three distinct fluorescent protein acceptors: two monomeric fluorescent proteins, the dsRed derivative mCherry or yellow fluorescent protein and the multi-chromophore b-phycoerythrin light harvesting complex. Using steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence, we showed that nonradiative transfer of excitation energy in these conjugates can be described within the Förster dipole-dipole formalism, with transfer efficiencies that vary with the degree of spectral overlap, donor-acceptor separation distance and the number of acceptors per QD. Comparison between the quenching data and simulation of the conjugate structures indicated that while energy transfer to monomeric proteins was identical to what was measured for QD-dye pairs, interactions with b-phycoerythrin were more complex. For the latter, the overall transfer efficiency results from the cumulative contribution of individual channels between the central QD and the chromophores distributed throughout the protein structure. Due to the biocompatible nature of fluorescent proteins, these QD-assemblies may have great potential for use in intracellular imaging and sensing.
Quantum dot; self-assembly; fluorescent protein; fluorescence; FRET; Förster; resonance energy transfer
The process of radiationless energy transfer from a chromophore in an excited electronic state (the “donor”) to another chromophore (an “acceptor”), in which the energy released by the donor effects an electronic transition, is known as “Förster Resonance Energy Transfer” (FRET). The rate of energy transfer is dependent on the sixth power of the distance between donor and acceptor. Determining FRET efficiencies is tantamount to measuring distances between molecules. A new method is proposed for determining FRET efficiencies rapidly, quantitatively, and non-destructively on ensembles containing donor acceptor pairs: at wavelengths suitable for mutually exclusive excitations of donors and acceptors, two laser beams are intensity-modulated in rectangular patterns at duty cycle ½ and frequencies f1 and f2 by electro-optic modulators. In an ensemble exposed to these laser beams, the donor excitation is modulated at f1, and the acceptor excitation, and therefore the degree of saturation of the excited electronic state of the acceptors, is modulated at f2. Since the ensemble contains donor acceptor pairs engaged in FRET, the released donor fluorescence is modulated not only at f1 but also at the beat frequency Δf: = |f1 − f2|. The depth of the latter modulation, detectable via a lock-in amplifier, quantitatively indicates the FRET efficiency.
FRET; LSM; dynamic; non-destructive; electro-optic modulator; beat; saturation; modulation
Fluorescence energy transfer was used to measure the assembly and disassembly of actin filaments. Actin was labeled at cysteine 373 with an energy donor (5-iodoacetamidofluorescein) or an energy acceptor (tetramethylrhodamine iodoacetamide or eosin iodoacetamide). Donor- labeled actin and acceptor-labeled actin were coassembled. The dependence of the transfer efficiency on the mole fraction of acceptor- labeled actin showed that the radial coordinate of the label at cysteine 373 is approximately 35 A, which means that this site is located near the outer surface of the filament. The distance between a donor and the closest acceptor in such a filament is 58 A. The increase in fluorescence after the mixing of actin filaments containing both donor and acceptor with unlabeled filaments showed that there is a slow continuous exchange of actin units. The rate of exchange was markedly accelerated when the filaments were sonicated. The rapid loss of energy transfer caused by mechanical shear probably resulted from an increase in the number of filament ends, which in turn accelerated the exchange of monomeric actin units. Energy transfer promises to be a valuable tool in characterizing the assembly and dynamics of actin and other cytoskeletal and contractile proteins in vitro and in intact cells.
The spectral processed Förster resonance energy transfer (psFRET) imaging method provides an effective and fast method for measuring protein–protein interactions in living specimens. The commercially available linear unmixing algorithms efficiently remove the contribution of donor spectral bleedthrough to the FRET signal. However, the acceptor contribution to spectral bleedthrough in the FRET image cannot be similarly removed, since the acceptor spectrum is identical to the FRET spectrum. Here, we describe the development of a computer algorithm that measures and removes the contaminating ASBT signal in the sFRET image. The new method is characterized in living cells that expressed FRET standards in which the donor and acceptor fluorescent proteins are tethered by amino acid linkers of specific lengths. The method is then used to detect the homo-dimerization of a transcription factor in the nucleus of living cells, and then to measure the interactions of that protein with a second transcription factor.
C/EBPα; confocal; FRET; green fluorescent proteins; protein dimerization; spectral bleedthrough; spectral imaging
Membrane fusion of a phospholipid vesicle with a planar lipid bilayer is preceded by an initial prefusion stage in which a region of the vesicle membrane adheres to the planar membrane. A resonance energy transfer (RET) imaging microscope, with measured spectral transfer functions and a pair of radiometrically calibrated video cameras, was used to determine both the area of the contact region and the distances between the membranes within this zone. Large vesicles (5-20 microns diam) were labeled with the donor fluorophore coumarin- phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), while the planar membrane was labeled with the acceptor rhodamine-PE. The donor was excited with 390 nm light, and separate images of donor and acceptor emission were formed by the microscope. Distances between the membranes at each location in the image were determined from the RET rate constant (kt) computed from the acceptor:donor emission intensity ratio. In the absence of an osmotic gradient, the vesicles stably adhered to the planar membrane, and the dyes did not migrate between membranes. The region of contact was detected as an area of planar membrane, coincident with the vesicle image, over which rhodamine fluorescence was sensitized by RET. The total area of the contact region depended biphasically on the Ca2+ concentration, but the distance between the bilayers in this zone decreased with increasing [Ca2+]. The changes in area and separation were probably related to divalent cation effects on electrostatic screening and binding to charged membranes. At each [Ca2+], the intermembrane separation varied between 1 and 6 nm within each contact region, indicating membrane undulation prior to adhesion. Intermembrane separation distances < or = 2 nm were localized to discrete sites that formed in an ordered arrangement throughout the contact region. The area of the contact region occupied by these punctate attachment sites was increased at high [Ca2+]. Membrane fusion may be initiated at these sites of closest membrane apposition.
Electron-transfer reactions are fundamental to many practical devices, but because of their complexity, it is often very difficult to interpret measurements done on the complete device. Therefore, studies of model systems are crucial. Here the rates of charge separation and recombination in donor–acceptor systems consisting of a series of butadiyne-linked porphyrin oligomers (n = 1–4, 6) appended to C60 were investigated. At room temperature, excitation of the porphyrin oligomer led to fast (5–25 ps) electron transfer to C60 followed by slower (200–650 ps) recombination. The temperature dependence of the charge-separation reaction revealed a complex process for the longer oligomers, in which a combination of (i) direct charge separation and (ii) migration of excitation energy along the oligomer followed by charge separation explained the observed fluorescence decay kinetics. The energy migration is controlled by the temperature-dependent conformational dynamics of the longer oligomers and thereby limits the quantum yield for charge separation. Charge recombination was also studied as a function of temperature through measurements of femtosecond transient absorption. The temperature dependence of the electron-transfer reactions could be successfully modeled using the Marcus equation through optimization of the electronic coupling (V) and the reorganization energy (λ). For the charge-separation rate, all of the donor–acceptor systems could be successfully described by a common electronic coupling, supporting a model in which energy migration is followed by charge separation. In this respect, the C60-appended porphyrin oligomers are suitable model systems for practical charge-separation devices such as bulk-heterojunction solar cells, where conformational disorder strongly influences the electron-transfer reactions and performance of the device.
Aromatic triazoles have been frequently used as π-conjugated linkers in intramolecular electron transfer processes. To gain a deeper understanding of the electron mediating function of triazoles, we have synthesized a family of new triazole-based electron donor-acceptor conjugates. We have connected porphyrins and fullerenes through a central triazole moiety – (ZnP-Tri-C60) – each with a single change in their connection through the linker. An extensive photophysical and computational investigation reveals that the electron transfer dynamics – charge separation and charge recombination – in the different ZnP-Tri-C60 conjugates reflect a significant influence of the connectivity at the triazole linker. Except for m4m-ZnP-Tri-C60 17, the conjugates exhibit through-bond electron transfer with varying rate constants. Since the through-bond distance is nearly equal in the ZnP-Tri-C60 conjugates, the variation in charge separation and charge recombination dynamics is mainly associated with the electronic properties of the conjugates, including orbital energies, electron affinity, and the energies of the excited states. The changes of the electronic couplings are, in turn, a consequence of the different connectivity patterns at the triazole moieties.
We demonstrate the use of a hybrid fluorescent protein semiconductor quantum dot (QD) sensor capable of specifically monitoring caspase 3 proteolytic activity. mCherry monomeric red fluorescent protein engineered to express an N-terminal caspase 3 cleavage site was ratiometrically self-assembled to the surface of QDs using metal-affinity coordination. The proximity of the fluorescent protein to the QD allows it to function as an efficient fluorescent resonance energy transfer acceptor. Addition of caspase 3 enzyme to the QD-mCherry conjugates specifically cleaved the engineered mCherry linker sequence altering energy transfer with the QD and allowing quantitative monitoring of proteolytic activity. Inherent advantages of this sensing approach include bacterial expression of the protease substrate in a fluorescently-appended form, facile self-assembly to QDs, and the ability to recombinantly modify the substrate to target other proteases of interest.
Hormonal regulation of cellular function involves the binding of small molecules with receptors that then coordinate subsequent interactions with other signal transduction proteins. These dynamic, multi-component processes are difficult to track in cells and even in reconstituted in vitro systems, and most methods can monitor only two-component interactions, often with limited capacity to follow dynamic changes. Through a judicious choice of three organic acceptor fluorophores paired with a terbium donor fluorophore, we have developed the first example of a one-donor/three-acceptor multi-color time-resolved fluorescence energy transfer (TR-FRET) system, and we have exemplified its use by monitoring a ligand-regulated protein-protein exchange process in a four-component biological system. By careful quantification of the emission from each of the three acceptors at the four channels for terbium donor emission, we demonstrate that any of these donor channels can be used to estimate the magnitude of the three FRET signals in this terbium donor triple-acceptor system with minimal bleedthrough. Using this three-channel terbium-based, TR-FRET assay system, we show in one experiment that the addition of a fluorescein-labeled estrogen agonist displaces a SNAPFL-labeled antiestrogen from the ligand binding pocket of a terbium-labeled estrogen receptor, at the same time causing a Cy5-labeled coactivator to be recruited to the estrogen receptor. This experiment demonstrates the power of a four-color TR-FRET experiment, and it shows that the overall process of estrogen receptor ligand exchange and coactivator binding is a dynamic but precisely coordinated process.
one-donor/three-acceptor FRET; multi-color acceptor FRET; TR LRET; TR FRET; triple FRET; estrogen receptor
Stimulated by a recent experimental report, charge transfer and photophysical properties of donor-acceptor ambipolar polymer were studied with the quantum chemistry calculation and the developed 3D charge difference density method. The effects of electronic acceptor strength on the structure, energy levels, electron density distribution, ionization potentials, and electron affinities were also obtained to estimate the transporting ability of hole and electron. With the developed 3D charge difference density, one visualizes the charge transfer process, distinguishes the role of molecular units, and finds the relationship between the role of DPP and excitation energy for the three polymers during photo-excitation.
We describe a concise solid support-based synthetic method for the preparation of cyclic D,L α-peptides bearing 1,4,5,8-naphthalenetetracarboxylic diimide (NDI) side chains. Studies of the structural and photoluminescence properties of these molecules in solution show that the hydrogen bond directed self-assembly of the cyclic D,L α-peptide backbone promotes intermolecular NDI excimer formation. The efficiency of NDI charge transfer in the resulting supramolecular assemblies is shown to depend on the length of the linker between the NDI and the peptide backbone, the distal NDI substituent, and the number of NDIs incorporated in a given structure. The design rationale and synthetic strategies described here should provide a basic blueprint for a series of self-assembling cyclic D,L α-peptide nanotubes with interesting optical and electronic properties.
charge transfer; cyclic peptides; self-assembly; supramolecular chemistry; nanotubes
We examined the effects of metallic silver particles on resonance energy transfer (RET) between fluorophores covalently bound to DNA. A coumarin donor and a Cy3 acceptor were positioned at opposite ends of a 23-bp double helical DNA oligomer. In the absence of silver particles the extent of RET is near 9%, consistent with a Forster distance R0 near 50 Å and a donor to acceptor distance near 75 Å. The transfer efficiency increased when the solution of AMCA-DNA-Cy3 was placed between two quartz plates coated with silver island films to near 64%, as determined by both steady-state and time-resolved measurements. The apparent R0 in the presence of silver island films increases to about 110 Å. These values of the transfer efficiency and R0 represent weighted averages for donor-acceptor pairs near and distant from the metallic surfaces, so that the values at an optimal distance are likely to be larger. The increased energy transfer is observed only between two sandwiched silvered slides. When we replaced one silvered slide with a quartz plate the effect vanished. Also, the increased energy transfer was not observed for silvered slides separated more than a few micrometers. These results suggest the use of metal-enhanced RET in PCR, hybridization, and other DNA assays, and the possibility of controlling energy transfer by the distance between silver surfaces.
A lipid transfer protein that facilitates the transfer of glycolipids between donor and acceptor membranes has been investigated using a fluorescence resonance energy transfer assay. The glycolipid transfer protein (23-24 kDa, pI 9.0) catalyzes the high specificity transfer of lipids that have sugars β-linked to either a ceramide or a diacylglycerol backbone, such as simple glycolipids and gangliosides, but not the transfer of phospholipids, cholesterol, or cholesterol esters. In this study, we examined the effect of different charged lipids on the rate of transfer of anthrylvinyl-labeled galactosylceramide (1 mol %) from a donor to acceptor vesicle population at neutral pH. Compared to neutral donor vesicle membranes, introduction of negatively charged lipid at 5 or 10 mol % into the donor vesicles significantly decreased the transfer rate. Introduction of the same amount of negative charge into the acceptor vesicle membrane did not impede the transfer rate as effectively. Also, positive charge in the donor vesicle membrane was not as effective at slowing the transfer rate as was negative charge in the donor vesicle. Increasing the ionic strength of the buffer with NaCl significantly reversed the charge effects. At neutral pH, the transfer protein (pI ≅ 9.0) is expected to be positively charged, which may promote association with the negatively charged donor membrane. Based on these and other experiments, we conclude that the transfer process follows first-order kinetics and that the off-rate of the transfer protein from the donor vesicle surface is the rate-limiting step in the transfer process.
Bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) operates with biochemical energy generated by bioluminescent proteins to excite fluorophores and offers additional advantages over fluorescence energy transfer (FRET) for in vivo imaging and biosensing. While fluorescent proteins are frequently used as BRET acceptors, both small molecule dyes and nanoparticles can also serve as acceptor fluorophores. Semiconductor fluorescent nanocrystals or quantum dots (QDs) are particularly well-suited for use as BRET acceptors due to their high quantum yields, large Stokes shifts and long wavelength emission. This review examines the potential of QDs for BRET-based bioassays and imaging, and highlights examples of QD BRET for biosensing and imaging applications. Future development of new BRET acceptors should further expand the multiplexing capability of BRET and improve its applicability and sensitivity for in vivo imaging applications.
We studied the effect of metal particles on Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between nearby donor–acceptor pairs. The studies included the effect of donor–acceptor distance, silver particle size, and distance from the metal surface. The metal particles were synthesized with average diameters of 15, 40, and 80 nm, respectively. A Cy5-labeled oligonucleotide was chemically bound to a single silver particle with a distance of 2 or 10 nm from the surface of metal core. A Cy5.5-labeled complementary oligonucleotide was bound to the particle-conjugated oligonucleotide by hybridization. The spacer length between donor–acceptor was adjusted by the number of base pairs. FRET between the donor–acceptor pair was investigated by dual-channel single-molecule fluorescence detection. Both the emission intensities and lifetimes indicated that FRET was enhanced efficiently by the metal particles. The results showed an increase of apparent energy transfer distance with the size of silver particle and distance from the metal core. Simulations by finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) calculations were used to compare with the experimental results. The local fields at the location of the donor–acceptor pair appeared to correlate with the FRET efficiency. These results will aid in the design of metal particles for using FRET to determine biomolecule proximity at distances beyond the usual Förster distance.
In semiconductors, an absorbed photon can generate multiple electron-hole pairs, but measurements of this carrier multiplication efficiency in nanocrystals need to correctly account for charged excitons. Xiao et al. meet this need by measuring energy transfer of biexcitons from nanocrystals to acceptor dyes.
Carrier multiplication describes an interesting optical phenomenon in semiconductors whereby more than one electron-hole pair, or exciton, can be simultaneously generated upon absorption of a single high-energy photon. So far, it has been highly debated whether the carrier multiplication efficiency is enhanced in semiconductor nanocrystals as compared with their bulk counterpart. The controversy arises from the fact that the ultrafast optical methods currently used need to correctly account for the false contribution of charged excitons to the carrier multiplication signals. Here we show that this charged exciton issue can be resolved in an energy transfer system, where biexcitons generated in the donor nanocrystals are transferred to the acceptor dyes, leading to an enhanced fluorescence from the latter. With the biexciton Auger and energy transfer lifetime measurements, an average carrier multiplication efficiency of ~17.1% can be roughly estimated in CdSe nanocrystals when the excitation photon energy is ~2.46 times of their energy gap.
A Zn(II) porphyrin-amidinium is the excited state electron donor (D) to a naphthalene diimide acceptor (A) appended with either a carboxylate or sulfonate functionality. The two-point hydrogen bond (---[H+]---) formed between the amidinium and carboxylate or sulfonate establishes a proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) pathway for charge transfer. The two D---[H+]---A assemblies differ only by the proton configuration within the hydrogen bonding interface. Specifically, the amidinium transfers a proton to the carboxylate to form a non-ionized amidine-carboxylic acid two-point hydrogen network whereas the amidinium maintains both protons when bound to the sulfonate functionality forming an ionized amidinium-sulfonate two-point hydrogen network. These two interface configurations within the dyads thus allow for a direct comparison of PCET kinetics for the same donor and acceptor juxtaposed by an ionized and non-ionized hydrogen-bonded interface. Analysis of PCET kinetics ascertained from transient absorption and transient emission spectroscopy reveal that the ionized interface is more strongly impacted by the local solvent environment, thus establishing that the initial static configuration of the proton interface is a critical determinant to the kinetics of PCET.
We show that simply designed amphiphilic 4-helix bundle peptides can be utilized to vectorially-orient a linearly-extended Donor-bridge-Acceptor (D-br-A) electron transfer (ET) chromophore within its core. The bundle’s interior is shown to provide a unique solvation environment for the D-br-A assembly not accessible in conventional solvents, and thereby control the magnitudes of both light-induced ET and thermal charge recombination rate constants. The amphiphilicity of the bundle’s exterior was employed to vectorially-orient the peptide-chromophore complex at a liquid-gas interface, and its ends tailored for subsequent covalent attachment to an inorganic surface, via a “directed assembly” approach. Structural data, combined with evaluation of the excited state dynamics exhibited by these peptide-chromophore complexes, demonstrates that densely-packed, acentrically ordered 2-D monolayer ensembles of such complexes at high in-plane chromophore densities approaching 1/200Å2 offer unique potential as active layers in binary heterojucntion photovoltaic devices.
We have developed a strategy for the detection of single protein molecules, which uses single-pair fluorescence resonance energy transfer (spFRET) as the readout modality and provides exquisite analytical sensitivity and reduced assay turn-around-time by eliminating various sample pre-processing steps. The single-protein detection assay uses two independent aptamer recognition events to form an assembly conducive to intramolecular hybridization of oligonucleotide complements that are tethered to the aptamers. This hybridization brings a donor-acceptor pair within the Förster distance to create a fluorescence signature indicative of the presence of the protein-aptamer(s) association complex. As an example of spFRET, we demonstrate the technique for the analysis of serum thrombin. The assay requires co-association of two distinct epitope-binding aptamers, each of which is labeled with a donor or acceptor fluorescent dye (Cy3 or Cy5, respectively) to produce a FRET response. The FRET response between Cy3 and Cy5 was monitored by single-molecule photon-burst detection, which provides high analytical sensitivity when the number of single-molecule events is plotted versus the target concentration. We are able to identify thrombin with high efficiency based on photon burst events transduced in the Cy5 detection channel. We also demonstrate that the technique can discriminate thrombin molecules from its analogue prothrombin. The analytical sensitivity was >200-fold better than an ensemble measurement.
Single-pair FRET; Aptamers; Thrombin; DNA-protein interactions; Biosensor
We demonstrate a fluorescence-based, label-free detection scheme that reports the presence of Hg(II) ion using photon upconverting nanoparticles. A single-stranded DNA containing a number of thymine bases to be used as the Hg2+-capturing element is covalently attached to the photon upconverting NaYF4:Yb3+,Tm3+ nanoparticles. Under the illumination of 980 nm laser, energy transfer takes place between the NaYF4:Yb3+,Tm3+ nanoparticles as the donor and SYBR green I, a DNA intercalating dye, as the acceptor. By monitoring the ratio of the acceptor emission to the donor emission, we can quantitatively detect the presence of the mercuric ions with a directly observed detection limit of 0.06 nM. The remarkably high signal-to-noise ratio of photon upconverting particles leads to very high sensitivity and specificity without the need of fluorophore labeling. The sensor also does not suffer from photobleaching.
Photon upconversion; label-free detection; mercury ion; oligonucleotide; energy transfer
CdSe semiconductor nanocrystal quantum dots are assembled into nanowire-like arrays employing microtubule fibers as nanoscale molecular “scaffolds.” Spectrally and time-resolved energy-transfer analysis is used to assess the assembly of the nanoparticles into the hybrid inorganic-biomolecular structure. Specifically, we demonstrate that a comprehensive study of energy transfer between quantum-dot pairs on the biotemplate, and, alternatively, between quantum dots and molecular dyes embedded in the microtubule scaffold, comprises a powerful spectroscopic tool for evaluating the assembly process. In addition to revealing the extent to which assembly has occurred, the approach allows determination of particle-to-particle (and particle-to-dye) distances within the bio-mediated array. Significantly, the characterization is realized in situ, without need for further sample workup or risk of disturbing the solution-phase constructs. Furthermore, we find that the assemblies prepared in this way exhibit efficient quantum dot-quantum dot and quantum dot-dye energy transfer that affords faster energy-transfer rates compared to densely packed quantum dot arrays on planar substrates and small-molecule-mediated quantum dot/dye couples, respectively.
nanocrystal quantum dots; Förster resonance energy transfer; microtubule; bio-templated assembly
We examined the effect of a metallic silver particle on Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between a nearby donor-acceptor pair. A donor- labeled oligonucleotide was chemically bound to a single silver particle and then an acceptor- labeled complementary oligonucleotide was conjugated by hybridization. The photophysical behavior of FRET between the donor-acceptor pair on the metal particle was investigated using both ensemble emission spectra and single- molecule fluorescence detections. Both the emission intensities and lifetimes indicated an enhanced FRET efficiency due to the metal particle. This interaction led to an increase in the Förster distance for energy transfer from 8.3 to 13 nm. The rate constant of FRET near the silver particle was 21-fold faster than that of unbound donor-acceptor pair. These results suggest the use of metal-enhanced FRET for measuring proximity of large biomolecules or for energy transfer based assays.
silver nanoparticle; Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET); metal plasmon resonance; metal-enhanced FRET; single molecule fluorescence detection
This paper concerns the development of water-compatible fluorescent imaging-probes with tunable photonic properties that can be excited at a single wavelength. Bichromophoric cassettes 1a – 1c consisting of a BODIPY donor and a cyanine acceptor were prepared using a simple synthetic route, and their photophysical properties were investigated. Upon excitation of the BODIPY moiety at 488 nm the excitation energy is transferred through an acetylene bridge to the cyanine dye acceptor, which emits light at approximately 600, 700, and 800 nm, ie with remarkable dispersions. This effect is facilitated by efficient energy transfer that gives a ‘quasi-Stokes’ shift of between 86 – 290 nm opening a huge spectral window for imaging. The emissive properties of the cassettes depend on the energy transfer (ET) mechanism: the faster the transfer, the more efficient it is. Measurements of rates of energy transfer indicate that a through-bond energy transfer takes place in the cassettes 1a and 1b that is two orders of magnitude faster than the classical through-space, Förster, energy transfer (in the case of cassette 1c, however, both mechanisms are possible, and the rate measurements do not allow us to discern between them). Thus the cassettes 1a – 1c are well suited for multiplexing experiments in biotechnological methods that involve a single laser-excitation source. However, for widespread application of these probes their solubility in aqueous media must be improved. Consequently, the probes were encapsulated in calcium phosphate/silicate nanoparticles (diameter ca 22 nm) that are freely dispersible in water. This encapsulation process resulted in only minor changes in the photophysical properties of the cassettes. The system based on cassette 1a was chosen to probe how effectively these nanoparticles could be used to deliver the dyes into cells. Encapsulated cassette 1a permeated Clone 9 rat liver cells where it localized in the mitochondria and fluoresced through the acceptor part, ie red. Overall, this paper reports readily accessible, cyanine-based through-bond energy transfer cassettes that are lypophilic but can be encapsulated to form nanoparticles that disperse freely in water. These particles can be used to enter cells and to label organelles.