Special Issue "Fluorescent Probes for Live Cell Imaging"

A special issue of Chemosensors (ISSN 2227-9040).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Zhijie Chen

University of California, Berkeley, CA, United States
Website | E-Mail
Interests: genetically encoded fluorescent probes; hydrogen sulfide; peroxynitrite; zinc; redox biology; unnatural amino acids; live cell imaging; enzyme catalysis; single molecule biophysics; optical tweezers; transcription; epigenetics
Guest Editor
Dr. Grazvydas Lukinavicius

Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Gottingen, Niedersachsen, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: chemical biology; fluorescent probes; super-resolution microscopy; living cell imaging

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fluorescent probes are essential molecular tools for the detection and imaging of biological molecules. The availability of robust probes for a particular molecular species often catalyzes unprecedented advancements of an entire field, as exemplified by genetically encoded calcium indicators. In order to understand cell physiology at a molecular level, we need fluorescent probes for each cellular component such as metal ions, metabolites, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. These fluorescent probes when coupled with live cell imaging, empower the study of biological molecules noninvasively and in its native environment.

Over the last decade, many new fluorescence imaging methods have emerged allowing for the observation of whole body processes and molecular processes in living organisms. For example, techniques in whole body and thick tissue fluorescence imaging are quickly expanding because of their potential surgical applications. Camera image-guided techniques augment surgeons’ vision. The miniaturization of flow cytometry devices has brought fluorescence imaging to the point-of-care level. Finally, super-resolution microscopy, or nanoscopy, allows objects to be observed at the nanometre (nm, 10−9 m) scale at resolutions that are only slightly lower than with electron microscopy. The importance of this discovery is emphasized by 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry award.

All above mentioned techniques rely on and facilitate the development of the fluorescent probes and sensors. A special attention is payed to the molecules compatible with living cell imaging allowing vizualization of dynamics, transformations and localization. This Special Issue is focusing on such fluorescent probes and attempts to build a roadmap, which, ideally, should provide useful guidelines for future developments in this vast and dynamic field.

Dr. Zhijie Chen
Dr. Grazvydas Lukinavicius
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Chemosensors is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Fluorescent probes
  • Fluorescence imaging
  • Molecular imaging
  • Sensors
  • Biosensors
  • Fluorescent indicators
  • Live cell imaging
  • Whole body and thick tissue fluorescence imaging
  • Camera image-guided surgery
  • Super-resolution microscopy
  • Metabolites
  • Small molecules
  • Genetically encoded fluorescent probes
  • Chemical probes
  • Cell signaling

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessReview Illuminating Brain Activities with Fluorescent Protein-Based Biosensors
Chemosensors 2017, 5(4), 32; doi:10.3390/chemosensors5040032
Received: 9 October 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
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Fluorescent protein-based biosensors are indispensable molecular tools for life science research. The invention and development of high-fidelity biosensors for a particular molecule or molecular event often catalyze important scientific breakthroughs. Understanding the structural and functional organization of brain activities remain a subject for
[...] Read more.
Fluorescent protein-based biosensors are indispensable molecular tools for life science research. The invention and development of high-fidelity biosensors for a particular molecule or molecular event often catalyze important scientific breakthroughs. Understanding the structural and functional organization of brain activities remain a subject for which optical sensors are in desperate need and of growing interest. Here, we review genetically encoded fluorescent sensors for imaging neuronal activities with a focus on the design principles and optimizations of various sensors. New bioluminescent sensors useful for deep-tissue imaging are also discussed. By highlighting the protein engineering efforts and experimental applications of these sensors, we can consequently analyze factors influencing their performance. Finally, we remark on how future developments can fill technological gaps and lead to new discoveries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluorescent Probes for Live Cell Imaging)

Figure 1

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Planned Paper:

Tentative title:

What to consider when choosing a fluorescent probe for live cell imaging

Ludovic Galas

Abstract: Cell Imaging Platforms (CIP) are research infrastructures that offering support to a number of scientific projects including the choice of the right fluorescent probes for live cell imaging. What to detect in what sample and for how long is a major issue with fluorescent probes and, for this, the tryptic: “Probe”, “Sample” and “Instrument” (PSI) has to be considered. We proposed here to deal with key points usually discussed in CIP including the characteristics of a fluorescent probe, the modality of cell labeling as well as and the equipment(s) necessary to obtain appropriate spectral, spatial and temporal resolution. New strategies of click-chemistry and chemical synthesis for enhanced targeting will also be addressed. Finally, methods for image processing will be described to optimize exploitation of fluorescent signals.
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