Bioluminescence (BL) relies on the enzymatic reaction between luciferase, a substrate conventionally named luciferin, and various cofactors. BL imaging has become a widely used technique to interrogate gene expression and cell fate, both in small and large animal models of research. Recent developments include the generation of improved luciferase–luciferin systems for deeper and more sensitive imaging as well as new caged luciferins to report on enzymatic activity and other intracellular functions. Here, we critically evaluate the emerging tools for BL imaging aiming to provide the reader with an updated compendium of the latest developments (2018–2020) and their notable applications.

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Current opinion in Chemical Biology
Department of Radiology

Giorgia Zambito, Chintan Chawda, & Mezzanotte, L. (2021). Emerging tools for bioluminescence imaging. Current opinion in Chemical Biology, (63), 86–94. doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2021.02.005