Navigation Links
A non-invasive intracellular 'thermometer' with fluorescent proteins has been created

A team from the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) has developed a technique to measure internal cell temperatures without altering their metabolism. This finding could be useful when distinguishing healthy cells from cancerous ones, as well as learning more about cellular processes.

Temperature controls many of the cell's life processes, such as splitting and metabolism. A European research team led by the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), which has the Severo Ochoa mark of excellence, has published a non-invasive method that offers quicker, more precise data from measuring intracellular heat from green fluorescent proteins (GFP) in the journal 'Nano Letters'.

"A unique characteristic of our method is that it does not alter any cellular process" Romain Quidant, ICFO researcher and study coordinator, explains to SINC. Unlike other techniques, this method does not stress or alter the behaviour of the cell as it does not need to be inserted into any molecules or any other synthetic nano-object that is sensitive to the internal temperature.

One of the most promising outcomes is a better understanding of cellular processes, such as those involved in metastasis. Furthermore, the possibility of obtaining information about intracellular temperature could be used to "differentiate normal cells from cancerous ones in a quick, non-invasive manner" Sebastian Thompson Parga, ICFO researcher and co-author of the project.

Information deduced from temperature

From intracellular temperature, we can deduce how the energy used by the body in the uncontrolled spreading of cancer cells flows.

In this interdisciplinary study, biology uses physical measurements of energy transmission to study processes such as gene expression, metabolism and cell splitting.

The technique used is known by the name of 'fluorescence polarisation anisotropy' (FPA) as it allows the difference in polarization between light that fluorescent molecules receive, and that which they emit later, to be measured. In the words of Quidant, "this difference in polarization (anisotropy) is directly connected to the rotating of the GFP molecules and therefore with temperature".

The green fluorescence of the proteins has a reward

The authors of the study ensure that biologists will be able to implement this technique in experimental set-ups and obtain the cell temperature as another observable detail. In 2008, when Osamu Shimomura, Martin Chalfie and Roger Y. Tsien won the Nobel Chemistry Prize for discovering and developing GFP, they resolved many complications in biomedical research.

In the field of molecular biology, different techniques have been suggested to monitor internal cell temperature, these researchers found limitations in measuring the intensity and spectrum of its fluorescence.

Furthermore, the option of measuring intracellular activity could establish the basis to develop a field that has not been widely studied: thermal biology at cellular level.

According to the authors of the study, the following step is to improve the method's sensitivity and resolution. In order to achieve that, the researchers work to fine tune the properties of the fluorescent proteins and optimise the detection method of its 'thermometer'.

Contact: SINC
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology

Related biology news :

1. Potential for non-invasive brain tumor treatment
2. Non-invasive cultivar? Buyer beware
3. Tel Aviv University President Co-authors Important Paper Unraveling the Effect of Spatial Organization on Intracellular Chemistry
4. Intracellular express -- why transport protein molecules have brakes
5. Development of a FRET sensor for real-time imaging of intracellular redox dynamics
6. End of an era: NIST to cease calibrating mercury thermometers
7. Researchers create new class of fluorescent dyes to detect reactive oxygen species in vivo
8. Fluorescent proteins illuminating biomedical research
9. Pitt-led researchers create quick, simple fluorescent detector for TB
10. Fluorescent cancer cells to guide brain surgeons
11. Penn researchers demonstrate a new model for drug discovery with a fluorescent anesthetic
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
A non-invasive intracellular 'thermometer' with fluorescent proteins has been created
(Date:11/17/2015)... 17, 2015  Vigilant Solutions announces today that Mr. ... of Directors. --> --> ... from the partnership at TPG Capital, one of the ... $140 Billion in revenue.  He founded and led TPG,s ... TPG companies, from 1997 to 2013.  In his first ...
(Date:11/16/2015)... Calif. , Nov 16, 2015  Synaptics ... of human interface solutions, today announced expansion of ... TouchView ™ touch controller and display driver ... revolution of smartphones. These new TDDI products add ... TD4100 (HD resolution), TD4302 (WQHD resolution), and TD4322 ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... Nov. 12, 2015  Arxspan has entered into ... and Harvard for use of its ArxLab cloud-based ... tools. The partnership will support the institute,s efforts ... chemical research information internally and with external collaborators. ... for managing the Institute,s electronic laboratory notebook, compound ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , England , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... Medical, an innovative medical device company specializing in imaging technologies, ... from the European Commission as part of the Horizon 2020 ... company to carry out a large-scale clinical trial in breast ...      (Logo: , --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE MKT: PIP) announced  today that ... plan (Rights Plan) in an effort to preserve the ... Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). ... of its NOLs could be substantially limited if the ... 382 of the Code. In general, an ownership change ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- Studies reveal the differences in species ... the way for more effective treatment for one of the ... --> --> Gum disease ... cats, yet relatively little was understood about the bacteria associated ... conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... SAN DIEGO , Nov. 25, 2015  Neurocrine ... Kevin Gorman , President and CEO of Neurocrine ... Jaffray Healthcare Conference in New York ... encouraged to visit the website approximately 5 minutes prior ... software.  A replay of the presentation will be available ...
Breaking Biology Technology: