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Tracking the binding of multi-functional fluorescent tags for Alzheimer's disease using quantitative multiphoton microscopy


A recent theranostic approach to address Alzheimer's disease (AD) utilizes multifunctional targets that both tag and negate the toxicity of AD biomarkers. These compounds, which emit fluorescence with both an activation and a spectral shift in the presence of Aβ, were previously characterized with traditional fluorescence imaging for binary characterization. However, these multifunctional compounds have broad and dynamic emission spectra that are dependent on factors such as the local environment, presence of Aβ deposits, etc. Since quantitative multiphoton microscopy is sensitive to the binding dynamics of molecules, we characterized the performance of two such compounds, LS-4 and ZY-12-OMe, using Simultaneous Label-free Autofluorescence Multi-harmonic (SLAM) microscopy and Fast Optical Coherence, Autofluorescence Lifetime imaging and Second harmonic generation (FOCALS) microscopy. This study shows that the combination of quantitative multiphoton imaging with multifunctional tags for AD offers new insights into the interaction of these tags with AD biomarkers and the theranostic mechanisms.

​​​DOI: 10.1002/jbio.202200105