Professor Masato Yasui and his colleagues in the Department of Pharmacology, Keio University School of Medicine, in collaboration with Professor Tatsuro Arai and others in the Department of Mathematical Materials, University of Tsukuba, have developed a dye that is effective for observing phenomena such as cell membranes.It will be possible to quantitatively measure cell membrane phenomena that were difficult to observe until now.We hope that it will contribute to the development of cell biology research as a new tool to replace existing fluorescent dyes.

 We have developed a dye for observation methods that utilize second harmonic generation (SHG). SHG is an optical phenomenon in which two photons with the same wavelength are converted into one photon with half the wavelength, and microscopes using SHG are used for unstained tissue diagnosis of cancer tissue.However, until now, there has been no dye suitable for SHG microscopes, and the application of SHG microscopes using dyes to the life science field has not progressed.

 The shape and function of the cell membrane that covers the surface of the cell is the most important factor that controls the function of the cell.Therefore, visualizing and measuring cell membrane phenomena leads to an understanding of the normal functioning of cells and their breakdown.Conventionally, the observation of such a phenomenon mainly uses a fluorescent protein or a fluorescent dye, but there is a problem that the fluorescent signal is strong and the observation of other fluorescent dyes is hindered.On the other hand, although observations using SHGs used for green laser pointers are effective for visualization of cell membrane phenomena, dyes suitable for observations have not been developed.

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