MIT Engineers Employ Fluorescent Labels to Investigate Molecular Interactions in Cell Behavior

December 05, 2023

Living cells constantly encounter diverse molecular signals influencing their behavior. Studying these signals and subsequent responses through molecular signaling networks is crucial for understanding cellular processes, aging, and diseases. Existing cell imaging techniques are limited to a few molecule types simultaneously, hindering comprehensive studies. 

MIT researchers, led by Edward Boyden, the Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology, have introduced an innovative method capable of observing up to seven different molecules concurrently. Utilizing green or red fluorescent molecules with varying flickering rates, the approach involves imaging cells over different timeframes. A computational algorithm extracts each fluorescent signal, enabling the tracking of changes in target protein levels over time. 

This breakthrough offers a novel avenue for in-depth investigations into fundamental biology problems, allowing researchers to observe and understand intricate cellular events triggering downstream cascades.