Photothermal Microscopy: Imaging of Energy Dissipation From Photosynthetic Complexes

Wiesław I. Gruszecki, Rafał Luchowski, Monika Zubik, Wojciech Grudziński

An idea of a photo-thermal imaging microscopy (PTIM) is proposed, along with its realization based on a dependence of fluorescence anisotropy of dye molecules on heat emission in their nearest vicinity. Erythrosine B was selected as a fluorophore convenient to report thermal deactivation of excited pigment-protein complex isolated from the photosynthetic apparatus of plants (LHCII), owing to the relatively large spectral gap between the fluorescence emission bands of chlorophyll a and a probe. Comparison of the simultaneously recorded images based on fluorescence lifetime of LHCII and fluorescence anisotropy of erythrosine shows high rate of thermal energy dissipation from the aggregated forms of the complex and, possibly, thermal energy transmission along the protein supramolecular structures. Relatively high resolution of this novel microscopic technique, comparable to the fluorescence lifetime microscopy, enables its application in a nanoscale imaging and in nano-thermography.