Stochastic fluorescence switching of nucleic acids under visible light illumination

Biqin Dong, Luay M. Almassalha, Brian T. Soetikno, John E. Chandler, The Quyen Nguyen, Ben E. Urban, Cheng Sun, Hao F. Zhang, Vadim Backman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We report detailed characterizations of stochastic fluorescence switching of unmodified nucleic acids under visible light illumination. Although the fluorescent emission from nucleic acids under the visible light illumination has long been overlooked due to their apparent low absorption cross section, our quantitative characterizations reveal the high quantum yield and high photon count in individual fluorescence emission events of nucleic acids at physiological concentrations. Owing to these characteristics, the stochastic fluorescence switching of nucleic acids could be comparable to that of some of the most potent exogenous fluorescence probes for localization-based super-resolution imaging. Therefore, utilizing the principle of single-molecule photon-localization microscopy, native nucleic acids could be ideal candidates for optical label-free super-resolution imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7929-7944
Number of pages16
JournalOptics Express
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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