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Isselstein, Michael; Zhang, Lei; Glembockyte, Viktorija; Brix, Oliver; Cosa, Gonzalo; Tinnefeld, Philip and Cordes, Thorben ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8598-5499 (2020): Self-Healing Dyes - Keeping the Promise? In: Journal of physical chemistry letters, Vol. 11, No. 11: pp. 4462-4480 [PDF, 12MB]

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Self-healing dyes have emerged as a new promising class of fluorescent labels. They consist of two units, a fluorescent dye and a photostabilizer. The latter heals whenever the fluorescent dye is in danger of taking a reaction pathway toward photobleaching. We describe the underlying concepts and summarize the developmental history and state-of-the-art, including latest applications in high-resolution microscopy, live-cell, and single-molecule imaging. We further discuss remaining limitations, which are (i) lower photostabilization of most self-healing dyes when compared to solution additives, (ii) limited mechanistic understanding on the influence of the biochemical environment and molecular oxygen on self-healing, and (iii) the lack of cheap and facile bioconjugation strategies. Finally, we provide ideas on how to further advance self-healing dyes, show new data on redox blinking caused by double-stranded DNA, and highlight forthcoming work on intramolecular photostabilization of fluorescent proteins.

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