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Far-red fluorescent lipid-polymer probes for an efficient labeling of enveloped viruses
Advanced healthcare materials
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Far-red emitting fluorescent lipid probes are desirable to label enveloped viruses, for their efficient tracking by optical microscopy inside autofluorescent cells. Most used probes are rapidly released from membranes, leading to fluorescence signal decay and loss of contrast. Here, water-soluble lipid-polymer probes are synthesized harboring hydrophilic or hydrophobic far-red emitting dyes, and exhibiting enhanced brightness. They efficiently label Hepatitis C Virus pseudotyped particles (HCVpp), more stably and reproducibly than commercial probes, and a strong fluorescence signal is observed with a high contrast. Labeling with such probes do not alter virion morphology, integrity, nor infectivity. Finally, it is shown by fluorescence microscopy that these probes enable efficient tracking of labeled HCVpp inside hepatocarcinoma cells used as model hepatocytes, in spite of their autofluorescence up to 700 nm. These novel fluorescent lipid-polymer probes should therefore enable a better characterization of early stages of infection of autofluorescent cells by enveloped viruses.
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