Fluorescent dyes with large Stokes shifts for super-resolution optical microscopy of biological objects: a review
Authors: Sednev MV, Belov VN, Hell SW
CellNetworks People: Hell Stefan
Journal: Methods Appl Fluoresc. 2015 Oct 22;3(4):042004. doi: 10.1088/2050-6120/3/4/042004

The review deals with commercially available organic dyes possessing large Stokes shifts and their applications as fluorescent labels in optical microscopy based on stimulated emission depletion (STED). STED microscopy breaks Abbe's diffraction barrier and provides optical resolution beyond the diffraction limit. STED microscopy is non-invasive and requires photostable fluorescent markers attached to biomolecules or other objects of interest. Up to now, in most biology-related STED experiments, bright and photoresistant dyes with small Stokes shifts of 20-40 nm were used. The rapid progress in STED microscopy showed that organic fluorophores possessing large Stokes shifts are indispensable in multi-color super-resolution techniques. The ultimate result of the imaging relies on the optimal combination of a dye, the bio-conjugation procedure and the performance of the optical microscope. Modern bioconjugation methods, basics of STED microscopy, as well as structures and spectral properties of the presently available fluorescent markers are reviewed and discussed. In particular, the spectral properties of the commercial dyes are tabulated and correlated with the available depletion wavelengths found in STED microscopes produced by LEICA Microsytems, Abberior Instruments and Picoquant GmbH.