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Technology Overview

OHSU # 2205-D — Fluorophores for multicolor microscopy


Multicolor microscopy can be used to localize and visualize complex subcellular systems, but current systems are often limited in the number of fluorophores that can be imaged simultaneously.  Oregon Health & Science University researchers have developed novel fluorophores that increase the number of channels and subcellular structures that can be imaged in a single sample as compared to traditional fluorophores.

Technology Overview

Super resolution microscopy allows for tracking of single-molecules by utilizing photoswitchable fluorophores and compiling numerous images into one final high-resolution image; however, most systems only allow for 4-5 fluorophores, limiting the number of structures that can be simultaneously labeled. To address this need, the laboratory of Dr. Summer Gibbs has synthesized a library of novel boron-dipyrromethene (BODIPY)-based fluorophores that can be excited by 5 distinct laser lines but emit throughout the spectral range (450–850 nm), enabling multispectral microscopy. These fluorophores were validated against gold standard fluorophores and characterized for their excitation and emission wavelengths as well as their photoswitching capacity. Combined with super resolution microscopy, these fluorophores can offer fine spatial detail, with resolutions between 10-20 nm, and allow for visualization of multiple subcellular structures in a single cell. This technology has the potential to enhance research into the mechanisms controlling cell signaling and regulation by expanding the number of molecules that can be tracked simultaneously in a given preparation.


Bittel et al. “Superresolution microscopy with novel BODIPY-based fluorophores.” PLoS One 26 (2018). Link

Bittel et al., “Varied length stokes shift BODIPY-based fluorophores for multicolor microscopy.” Sci Rep.  15 (2018): 4590. Link

Bittel et al., “Design and development of BODIPY-based photoswitchable fluorophores to visualize cell signaling with multispectral resolution microscopy.” Proc SPIR Int Soc Opt Eng. (2014): 8950. Link

Licensing Opportunity

This technology is available for licensing.





Issued United States 9,751,897
Published United States WO 2017/139689 A1