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Dissertation Chapters | Biological Sciences | India | Volume 12 Issue 9, September 2023
The Emerging Use of Bioluminescence in the Lives of Humans
Abstract: Bioluminescence is the fascinating natural phenomenon by which light is produced by living organisms. Bioluminescence occurs when the oxidation of a small-molecule luciferin happens in presence of ATP, and which is catalysed by an enzyme known as luciferase. The excited-state species formed during the course of reaction emits light. There are over 30 known bioluminescent systems but the luciferin?luciferase system is the most widely studied one that has been extensively characterised till date, while the other systems are currently under investigation. The different luciferin?luciferase pairs have different light emission wavelengths and hence are suitable for various applications. Recent times have witnessed advances in protein engineering, synthetic chemistry, and medical research which in turn has allowed bioluminescent systems to reach previously uncharted applications. The bioluminescence reaction is now regularly used for gene assays, the detection of protein? protein interactions, drug discovery, hygiene control, analysis of pollution in ecosystems and in vivo imaging in small mammals. Diverging our focus from sensing and imaging; the more recent highlights of the applications of bioluminescence in biomedicine include the bioluminescence- induced photo-uncaging of small-molecules, bioluminescence based photodynamic therapy (PDT) and the use of bioluminescence to control neurons. There has also been an increase in blue-sky research such as the engineering of various light emitting plants. This has led to lots of exciting multidisciplinary works across various disciplines. This review focuses on what in actuality the process of bioluminescence is and how it is slowly becoming an integral part in the lives of humans.
Keywords: bioluminescence reaction, light, oxidation, luciferin
Edition: Volume 12 Issue 9, September 2023,
Pages: 1711 - 1716