Journal of the American Chemical Society
Small-molecule fluorescent probes for live-cell super-resolution microscopy
Wang, L., Frei, M. S., Salim, A., & Johnsson, K.
Super-resolution fluorescence microscopy is a powerful tool to visualize biomolecules and cellular structures at the nanometer scale. Employing these techniques in living cells has opened up the possibility to study dynamic processes with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. Different physical approaches to super-resolution microscopy have been introduced over the last years. A bottleneck to apply these approaches for live-cell imaging has become the availability of appropriate fluorescent probes that can be specifically attached to biomolecules. In this Perspective, we discuss the role of small-molecule fluorescent probes for live-cell super-resolution microscopy and the challenges that need to be overcome for their generation. Recent trends in the development of labeling strategies are reviewed together with the required chemical and spectroscopic properties of the probes. Finally, selected examples of the use of small-molecule fluorescent probes in live-cell super-resolution microscopy are given.