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22 April 2016 Imaging cellular membrane potential through ionization of quantum dots
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Recent interest in quantum dots (QDs) stems from the plethora of potential applications that arises from their tunable absorption and emission profiles, high absorption cross sections, resistance to photobleaching, functionalizable surfaces, and physical robustness. The emergent use of QDs in biological imaging exploits these and other intrinsic properties. For example, quantum confined Stark effect (QCSE), which describes changes in the photoluminescence (PL) of QDs driven by the application of an electric field, provides an inherent means of detecting changes in electric fields by monitoring QD emission and thus points to a ready mean of imaging membrane potential (and action potentials) in electrically active cells. Here we examine the changing PL of various QDs subjected to electric fields comparable to those found across a cellular membrane. By pairing static and timeresolved PL measurements, we attempt to understand the mechanism driving electric-field-induced PL quenching and ultimately conclude that ionization plays a substantial role in initiating PL changes in systems where QCSE has traditionally been credited. Expanding on these findings, we explore the rapidity of response of the QD PL to applied electric fields and demonstrate changes amply able to capture the millisecond timescale of cellular action potentials.
© (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Clare E. Rowland, Kimihiro Susumu, Michael H. Stewart, Eunkeu Oh, Antti J. Mäkinen, Thomas J. O'Shaughnessy, Gary Kushto, Mason A. Wolak, Jeffrey S. Erickson, Alexander L. Efros, Alan L. Huston, and James B. Delehanty "Imaging cellular membrane potential through ionization of quantum dots", Proc. SPIE 9722, Colloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications XI, 97220S (22 April 2016);

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