A photoswitchable solvatochromic dye for probing membrane ordering by RESOLFT super-resolution microscopy
Andrew Frawley, Kathryn Leslie, Virginia Wycisk, Silvia Galiani, Dilip Shrestha, Christian Eggeling, Harry Anderson
Vesicles, Membranes, RESOLFT
A switchable solvatochromic fluorescent dyad can be used to map ordering of lipids in vesicle membranes at a resolution better than the diffraction limit. Combining a Nile Red fluorophore with a photochromic spironaphthoxazine quencher allows the fluorescence to be controlled using visible light, via photoswitching and FRET quenching. Synthetic lipid vesicles of varying composition were imaged with an average 2.5-fold resolution enhancement, compared to the confocal images. Ratiometric detection was used to probe the membrane polarity, and domains of different lipid ordering were distinguished within the same membrane.