Ion selective optical nanosensors allow accurate ion measurements in biological systems, without the physical limitations and invasiveness of ion selective electrodes. Optically based nanosensors (Photonic Explorers for Bioanalysis with Biologically Localized Embedding, PEBBLEs), have been optimized for fluorescence microscopy imaging, and have been applied for imaging various biochemical analytes. In here, we report the first example of a potassium selective nanosensor optimized for photoacoustic (PA) imaging. Notably, PA imaging overcomes the severe light penetration depth problem faced by fluorescence imaging in vivo. The new potassium selective nanosensor shows excellent response in the biological range, from 0 to 200 mM, as confirmed by both UV-Vis Spectroscopy and PA Spectroscopy. Furthermore, the K+ PEBBLE showed a 2 orders of magnitude, or higher, selectivity to K+ , relative to any other biological cations, such as Li+, Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+.
Chang Heon Lee, Jeffrey A. Folz, Wuliang Zhang, Janggun Jo, Xueding Wang, and Raoul Kopelman, "Towards biological ion imaging in vivo: potassium selective photoacoustic nanosensor," Proc. SPIE 10077, Nanoscale Imaging, Sensing, and Actuation for Biomedical Applications XIV, 1007705 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 30, 2017; Published: 22 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252708.
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