From Live Cells to Caenorhabditis elegans: Selective Staining and Quantification of Lipid Structures Using a Fluorescent Hybrid Benzothiadiazole Derivative

The current article describes the synthesis, characterization, and application of a designed hybrid fluorescent BTD–coumarin (2,1,3-benzothiadiazole-coumarin) derivative (named BTD-Lip). The use of BTD-Lip for live-cells staining showed excellent results, and lipid droplets (LDs) could be selectively stained. When compared with the commercially available dye (BODIPY) for LD staining, it was noted that the designed hybrid fluorescence was capable of staining a considerable larger number of LDs in both live and fixed cells (ca. 40% more). The new dye was also tested on live Caenorhabditis elegans (complex model) and showed an impressive selectivity inside the worm, whereas the commercial dye showed no selectivity in the complex model.