Endogenous Fluorescence Signatures in Living Pluripotent Stem Cells Change with Loss of Potency

Jayne M. Squirrell, Jimmy J. Fong, Carlos A. Ariza, Amber Mael, Kassondra Meyer, Nirupama K. Shevde, Avtar Roopra, Gary E. Lyons, Timothy J. Kamp, Kevin W. Eliceiri, Brenda M. Ogle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The therapeutic potential of stem cells is limited by the non-uniformity of their phenotypic state. Thus it would be advantageous to noninvasively monitor stem cell status. Driven by this challenge, we employed multidimensional multiphoton microscopy to quantify changes in endogenous fluorescence occurring with pluripotent stem cell differentiation. We found that global and cellular-scale fluorescence lifetime of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and murine embryonic stem cells (mESC) consistently decreased with differentiation. Less consistent were trends in endogenous fluorescence intensity with differentiation, suggesting intensity is more readily impacted by nuances of species and scale of analysis. What emerges is a practical and accessible approach to evaluate, and ultimately enrich, living stem cell populations based on changes in metabolism that could be exploited for both research and clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere43708
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 29 2012


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