November 19, 2007
Researchers in Bioengineering Professor Luke Lee’s lab have discovered a technique that for the first time enables the detection of biomolecules’ dynamic reactions in a single living cell.
Published in the November 18 issue of the journal Nature Methods, the method takes advantage of the signature frequency at which organic and inorganic molecules absorb light to determine whether specific enzymes are activated or particular genes are expressed, all with unprecedented resolution within a single living cell.
This technique could lead to a new era in molecular imaging with implications for cell-based drug discovery and biomedical diagnostics. Their work presents a breakthrough in single-cell imaging without destruction of the cell, allowing real-time imaging of molecular processes as they are occurring.
Other researchers on the team are co-lead author Gang Logan Liu, Ph.D. alumnus of the Lee Lab; Yi-Tao Long, co-lead author and postdoctoral scholar in bioengineering; Yeonho Choi, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering; and Taewook Kang, a postdoctoral scholar in bioengineering.