A viscosity sensitive fluorescent dye for real-time monitoring of mitochondria transport in neurons

Biosens Bioelectron. 2016 Dec 15;86:885-891. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2016.07.026. Epub 2016 Jul 9.


We present here a viscosity sensitive fluorescent dye, namely thiophene dihemicyanine (TDHC), that enables the specific staining of mitochondria. In comparison to the common mitochondria tracker (Mitotracker Deep Red, MTDR), this dye demonstrated its unique ability for robust staining of mitochondria with high photostability and ultrahigh signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Moreover, TDHC also showed high sensitivity towards mitochondria membrane potential (ΔΨm) and intramitochondria viscosity change. Consequently, this dye was utilized in real-time monitoring of mitochondria transport in primary cortical neurons. Finally, the Two-Photon Microscopy (TPM) imaging ability of TDHC was also demonstrated.

Keywords: Fluorescent probe; Mitochondria selective probe; Mitochondria transport in neurons; Two photon probe; Viscosity probe.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport, Active / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Computer Systems
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Membrane Potential, Mitochondrial / physiology*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Mitochondrial Membranes / chemistry*
  • Mitochondrial Membranes / physiology*
  • Mitochondrial Membranes / ultrastructure
  • Neurons
  • Thiophenes / chemistry*
  • Viscosity*


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Thiophenes