Author(s): Lee YE, Kopelman R
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Abstract Live cell studies are of fundamental importance to the life sciences and their medical applications. Nanoparticle (NP)-based sensor platforms have many advantages as sensors for intracellular measurements, due to their flexible engineerability, noninvasive nature (due to their nano-size and nontoxic matrix), and, for some of the NPs, intrinsic optical properties. NP-based fluorescent sensors for intracellular measurements, so called PEBBLE sensors, have been developed for many important intracellular analytes and functions, including ions, small molecules, reactive oxygen species, physical properties, and enzyme activities, which are involved in many chemical, biochemical, and physical processes taking place inside the cell. PEBBLE sensors can be used with a standard microscope for simultaneous optical imaging of cellular structures and sensing of composition and function, just like investigations performed with molecular probes. However, PEBBLE sensors of any design and matrix can be delivered into cells by several standard methods, unlike dye molecules that need to be cell permeable. Furthermore, new sensing possibilities are enabled by PEBBLE nanosensors, which are not possible with molecular probes. This review summarizes a variety of designs of the PEBBLE sensors, their characteristics, and their applications to cells. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Methods Enzymol
and referenced in Biological Systems: Open Access