Subdiffraction localization of a nanostructured photosensitizer in bacterial cells

Pietro Delcanale, Francesca Pennacchietti, Giulio Maestrini, Beatriz Rodríguez-Amigo, Paolo Bianchini, Alberto Diaspro, Alessandro Iagatti, Barbara Patrizi, Paolo Foggi, Monserrat Agut, Santi Nonell, Stefania Abbruzzetti, Cristiano Viappiani

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Antibacterial treatments based on photosensitized production of reactive oxygen species is a promising approach to address local microbial infections. Given the small size of bacterial cells, identification of the sites of binding of the photosensitizing molecules is a difficult issue to address with conventional microscopy. We show that the excited state properties of the naturally occurring photosensitizer hypericin can be exploited to perform STED microscopy on bacteria incubated with the complex between hypericin and apomyoglobin, a self-assembled nanostructure that confers very good bioavailability to the photosensitizer. Hypericin fluorescence is mostly localized at the bacterial wall, and accumulates at the polar regions of the cell and at sites of cell wall growth. While these features are shared by Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, only the latter are effectively photoinactivated by light exposure.

Idioma originalAnglès
Número d’article15564
RevistaScientific Reports
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 23 d’oct. 2015


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