Seeing Previously Invisible Molecules For The First Time
A team of Harvard chemists led by X. Sunney Xie has developed a new microscopic technique for seeing, in color, molecules with undetectable fluorescence. The room-temperature technique allows researchers to identify previously unseen molecules in living organisms and offers broad applications in biomedical imaging and research.
he scientists' results are published in the Oct. 22 issue of Nature. Partial funding for the project was provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Fluorescence is a phenomenon in which an electron in a molecule absorbs energy from light and moves to a higher energy level or excited state. The energy of the light is contained in a unit called a photon.