Multiphoton excitation fluorescence microscopy in planar membrane systems

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The feasibility of applying multiphoton excitation fluorescence microscopy-related techniques in planar membrane systems, such as lipid monolayers at the air-water interface (named Langmuir films), is presented and discussed in this paper. The non-linear fluorescence microscopy approach, allows obtaining spatially and temporally resolved information by exploiting the fluorescent properties of particular fluorescence probes. For instance, the use of environmental sensitive probes, such as LAURDAN, allows performing measurements using the LAURDAN generalized polarization function that in turn is sensitive to the local lipid packing in the membrane. The fact that LAURDAN exhibit homogeneous distribution in monolayers, particularly in systems displaying domain coexistence, overcomes a general problem observed when "classical" fluorescence probes are used to label Langmuir films, i.e. the inability to obtain simultaneous information from the two coexisting membrane regions. Also, the well described photoselection effect caused by excitation light on LAURDAN allows: (i) to qualitative infer tilting information of the monolayer when liquid condensed phases are present and (ii) to provide high contrast to visualize 3D membranous structures at the film's collapse pressure. In the last case, computation of the LAURDAN GP function provides information about lipid packing in these 3D structures. Additionally, LAURDAN GP values upon compression in monolayers were compared with those obtained in compositionally similar planar bilayer systems. At similar GP values we found, for both DOPC and DPPC, a correspondence between the molecular areas reported in monolayers and bilayers. This correspondence occurs when the lateral pressure of the monolayer is 26 ± 2. mN/m and 28 ± 3. mN/m for DOPC and DPPC, respectively. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.




Brewer, J., de la Serna, J. B., Wagner, K., & Bagatolli, L. A. (2010). Multiphoton excitation fluorescence microscopy in planar membrane systems. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes, 1798(7), 1301–1308.

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