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Real-time imaging of photodynamic action in bacteria

26 Apr '17 | By Biophotonics.World
Real-time imaging of photodynamic action in bacteria
Image source: Journal of Biophotonics
Fluorescence imaging studies of the processes leading to photodynamic inactivation of bacteria have been limited due to the small size of microorganisms as well as by the faint fluorescence of most photosensitizers. A versatile method based on highly-sensitive fluorescence microscopy is presented which allows to study, in real time, the incorporation of photosensitizers inside S. aureus upon photodynamic action. The method takes advantage of the fluorescence enhancement of phenothiazine and porphyrin photosensitizers upon entering the bacterial cytosol after the cell wall has been compromised. In combination with typical assays, such as the addition of specific enhancers of reactive oxygen species, it is possible to extract mechanistic information about the pathway of photodynamic damage at the single-cell level. Imaging experiments in deuterated buffer strongly support a Type-I mechanism for methylene blue and a very minor role of singlet oxygen. The article was published by Anita Gollmer et al. in J. Biophotonics, 2017, 2, 264; DOI: 10.1002/jbio.201500259

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