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Spatiotemporally Controllable MicroRNA Imaging in Living Cells via a Near-Infrared Light-Activated Nanoprobe

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journal contribution
posted on 29.07.2020, 18:09 by Xianxian Zhao, Liangliang Zhang, Weiying Gao, Xingle Yu, Wei Gu, Weiling Fu, Yang Luo
In situ spatiotemporal microRNA (miRNA) imaging in mammal cells plays an essential role in illustrating its structures and biological functions. Herein, we proposed a near-infrared (NIR) light-activated nanoprobe for high-sensitive in situ controllable miRNA imaging in living cells. The NIR-activated nanoprobe employed an upconversion nanoparticle that acted as a NIR-to-UV transducer to trigger the following photocleavage toward a dumbbell DNA probe tethered on the surface of the nanoparticle. The structure change of the dumbbell probe then induced a catalytic hairpin assembly of target miRNAs, by which in situ readout of the amplified fluorescence signal was enabled. Additionally, both intracellular miRNA imaging and accurate quantification in live cells were realized without damaging the cell membranes. Compared with conventional in situ strategies, the proposed approach remarkedly increases imaging efficiency by eliminating those unfavored intercellular molecular imaging backgrounds. We assured that the proposed NIR-activated miRNA sensing strategy will add to the advancement for bioanalysis in living systems, which is of crucial importance in the diagnosis of various human diseases, especially cancers.