|The enzyme that makes fireflies glow shows promise as a new medical imaging agent to improve detection of blood clots. Credit: iStock|
The new study describes an advance toward using luciferase in medical imaging. The scientists combined a protein obtained from firefly luciferase with a special dye that allows the protein to emit near-infrared light. In laboratory experiments, the new material successfully detected minute amounts of a specific blood protein, called factor Xa, which is used to monitor the effectiveness of heparin treatment. It offers promise for improved monitoring of heparin therapy, the article suggests.
The authors acknowledge funding from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Science Foundation, and the Hans & Ella McCollum '21 Vahlteich Endowment.
"Chemically Modified Firefly Luciferase Is an Efficient Source of Near-Infrared Light"
Source: American Chemical Society