Thermal activation of transient receptor potential (TRP) cation channels is one of the most striking examples of temperature-controlled processes in cell biology. As the evidence indicating the fundamental role of such processes in thermosensation builds at a fast pace, adequately accurate tools that would allow heat receptor logic behind thermosensation to be examined on a single-cell level are in great demand. Here, we demonstrate a specifically designed fiber-optic probe that enables thermal activation with simultaneous online thermometry of individual cells expressing genetically encoded TRP channels. This probe integrates a fiber-optic tract for the delivery of laser light with a two-wire microwave transmission line. A diamond microcrystal fixed on the fiber tip is heated by laser radiation transmitted through the fiber, providing a local heating of a cell culture, enabling a well-controlled TRP-assisted thermal activation of cells. Online local temperature measurements are performed by using the temperature-dependent frequency shift of optically detected magnetic resonance, induced by coupling the microwave field, delivered by the microwave transmission line, to nitrogen - vacancy centers in the diamond microcrystal. Activation of TRP channels is verified by using genetically encoded fluorescence indicators, visualizing an increase in the calcium flow through activated TRP channels.
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