Dual-emissive systems showing color-specific photoswitching are promising in bioimaging and super-resolution microscopy. However, their switching efficiency has been limited because a delicate manipulation of all the energy transfer crosstalks in the systems is unfeasible. Here, we report a perfect color-specific photoswitching, which is rationally designed by combining the complete off-to-on fluorescence switching capability of a fluorescent photochromic diarylethene and the frustrated energy transfer to the other fluorescent dye based on the excited-state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) process. Upon alternation of UV and visible light irradiations, the system achieves 100% switching on/off of blue emission from the diarylethene while orange emission from the ESIPT dye is unchanged in the polymer film. By fabricating this system into biocompatible polymer nanoparticles, we demonstrate microscopic imaging of RAW264.7 macrophage cells with reversible blue-color specific fluorescence switching that enables super-resolution imaging with a resolution of 70 nm.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)