Kinetics of Reactive Modules Adds Discriminative Dimensions for Selective Cell Imaging.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Chemphyschem : a European journal of chemical physics and physical chemistry, Volume 17, Issue 10, p.1396-413 (2016)




Living cells are chemical mixtures of exceptional interest and significance, whose investigation requires the development of powerful analytical tools fulfilling the demanding constraints resulting from their singular features. In particular, multiplexed observation of a large number of molecular targets with high spatiotemporal resolution appears highly desirable. One attractive road to address this analytical challenge relies on engaging the targets in reactions and exploiting the rich kinetic signature of the resulting reactive module, which originates from its topology and its rate constants. This review explores the various facets of this promising strategy. We first emphasize the singularity of the content of a living cell as a chemical mixture and suggest that its multiplexed observation is significant and timely. Then, we show that exploiting the kinetics of analytical processes is relevant to selectively detect a given analyte: upon perturbing the system, the kinetic window associated to response read-out has to be matched with that of the targeted reactive module. Eventually, we introduce the state-of-the-art of cell imaging exploiting protocols based on reaction kinetics and draw some promising perspectives.