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Findings on Biophysics Reported by Investigators at Air Force Research Laboratory

June 24, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Physics Week -- Research findings on Biophysics are discussed in a new report. According to news reporting out of Fort Sam Houston, Texas, by VerticalNews editors, research stated, "The requirement of center asymmetry for the creation of second harmonic generation (SHG) signals makes it an attractive technique for visualizing changes in interfacial layers such as the plasma membrane of biological cells. In this article, we explore the use of lipophilic SHG probes to detect minute perturbations in the plasma membrane."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Air Force Research Laboratory, "Three candidate probes, Di-4-ANEPPDHQ (Di-4), FM4-64, and all-trans-retinol, were evaluated for SHG effectiveness in Jurkat cells. Di-4 proved superior with both strong SHG signal and limited bleaching artifacts. To test whether rapid changes in membrane symmetry could be detected using SHG, we exposed cells to nanosecond-pulsed electric fields, which are believed to cause formation of nanopores in the plasma membrane. Upon nanosecond-pulsed electric fields exposure, we observed an instantaneous drop of similar to 50% in SHG signal from the anodic pole of the cell. When compared to the simultaneously acquired fluorescence signals, it appears that the signal change was not due to the probe diffusing out of the membrane or changes in membrane potential or fluidity. We hypothesize that this loss in SHG signal is due to disruption in the interfacial nature of the membrane."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "The results show that SHG imaging has great potential as a tool for measuring rapid and subtle plasma membrane disturbance in living cells."

For more information on this research see: Detecting Subtle Plasma Membrane Perturbation in Living Cells Using Second Harmonic Generation Imaging. Biophysical Journal, 2014;106(10):L37-L40. Biophysical Journal can be contacted at: Cell Press, 600 Technology Square, 5TH Floor, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. (Elsevier -; Biophysical Journal -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting E.K. Moen, Air Force Res Lab, Bioeffects Div, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234, United States. Additional authors for this research include B.L. Ibey and H.T. Beier.

Keywords for this news article include: Texas, Biophysics, United States, Fort Sam Houston, North and Central America

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Source: Physics Week

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