Supramolecular delivery of photoactivatable fluorophores in developing embryos

Yang Zhang*, Sicheng Tang, Lorenzo Sansalone, Ek Raj Thapaliya, James D. Baker, Françisco M. Raymo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The identification of noninvasive strategies to monitor dynamics within living organisms in real time is essential to elucidate the fundamental factors governing a diversity of biological processes. This study demonstrates that the supramolecular delivery of photoactivatable fluorophores in Drosophila melanogaster embryos allows the real-time tracking of translocating molecules. The designed photoactivatable fluorophores switch from an emissive reactant to an emissive product with spectrally-resolved fluorescence, under moderate blue-light irradiation conditions. These hydrophobic fluorescent probes can be encapsulated within supramolecular hosts and delivered to the cellular blastoderm of the embryos. Thus, the combination of supramolecular delivery and fluorescence photoactivation translates into a noninvasive method to monitor dynamics in vivo and can evolve into a general chemical tool to track motion in biological specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationColloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications XII
EditorsMarek Osinski, Wolfgang J. Parak, Xing-Jie Liang
ISBN (Electronic)9781510605978
StatePublished - 2017
EventColloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications XII 2017 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Jan 28 2017Jan 31 2017

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceColloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications XII 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Drosophila Melanogaster
  • Photoactivation
  • fluorescence imaging
  • molecular switches
  • nanoparticles
  • self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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