A platinum(II)-napthalimide probe for sub-cellular imaging of bacteria

There is a lack of molecular probes for imaging bacteria, in comparison to the array of such tools available for the imaging of mammalian cells. A platinum(II)-naphthalimide molecule has been developed as a small molecule probe for bacterial imaging, designed to have the potential for correlative imaging. The naphthalimide moiety acts as a luminescent probe for super-resolution microscopy, functioning independently of the platinum(II) centre which enabled visualisation of the complex with ion nanoscopy. Structured illumination microscopy (SIM) imaging on live Bacillus cereus confirmed the suitability of the probe for super-resolution microscopy. NanoSIMS analysis was used to monitor the uptake of the platinum(II) complex within the bacteria and proved the multimodal action of the probe. The successful combination of these two probe moieties introduces a platform that could lead to a versatile range of correlative probes for bacteria.