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superbright, photostabLe and mUlticolour novel fluoresCent mEtal quaNtum clusters for super-resoluTion imaging

Project description

Better fluorescent markers could offer higher-resolution nanoscale imaging

Super-resolution microscopy has revolutionised biology and nanomedicine, enabling researchers to visualise complex synthetic or biological structures with nanometre resolution. Super-resolution techniques rely on fluorescent markers endowed with specific properties, such as photoswitching, reversible binding and stimulated emission. Despite progress in the field, the development of fluorescent probes with high brightness and photostability as well as low toxicity is challenging. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the LUCENT project plans to combine nanochemical and surface-engineering strategies for producing multicolour atomic metal clusters for use in super-resolution microscopy. The project's work could lead to live, multicolour 3D images of an even higher resolution – down to the molecular level.


The breakthrough of super resolution imaging has revolutionized biology and nanomedicine, allowing to visualize synthetic or biological structures with nanometric accuracy and providing a deeper understanding of complex molecular systems. The key idea at the basis of these methods is the use of novel fluorescent markers endowed with specific properties such as photoswitching, reversible binding, stimulated emission and single molecule imaging capabilities. In this emergent framework the fluorescent markers play a role as important as the optical setup utilized for imaging. Therefore, among the prerequisites for successful nanoscopic imaging the selection of the suitable fluorophore is essential. Despite the recent advances in the development of super-resolution microscopy techniques, fluorescent probes with high brightness, high photostability and low toxicity remains an unmet need. This proposal aims at developing ultrasmall photoluminescent atomic metal quantum clusters as new generation of advanced optical probes for super-resolution microscopy. To this purpose, we will apply a combination of property-designed nanochemistry routes and surface engineered strategies for producing multicolour atomic metal clusters that will provide novel model systems for single molecule imaging. The strategy will focus at three important levels: synthesis, biocompatibility and preliminary cellular imaging, application in super-resolution microscopy. The research activity here proposed could realistically lead to live, multicolour, three-dimensional images with an even higher resolution – down to the molecular level – with applications in biology and nanotechnology. To this end, LUCENT will employ a multidiscicplinary approach whose strength resides in the combination of the complementary expertise of the experienced researcher –design of new probes - and the host institution - nanoscopy.



Net EU contribution
€ 175 572,48
Groene loper 3
5612 AE Eindhoven

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Zuid-Nederland Noord-Brabant Zuidoost-Noord-Brabant
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00