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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Membrane insertion of- and membrane potential sensing by semiconductor voltage nanosensors: feasibility demonstration

  • Author(s): Park, Kyoungwon
  • Kuo, Yung
  • Shvadchak, Volodymyr
  • Ingargiola, Antonino
  • Dai, Xinghong
  • Hsiung, Lawrence
  • Kim, Wookyeom
  • Zhou, Hong
  • Zou, Peng
  • Levine, Alex
  • Li, Jack
  • Weiss, Shimon
  • et al.

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We develop membrane voltage nanosensors that are based on inorganic semiconductor nanoparticles. These voltage nanosensors are designed to self-insert into the cell membrane and optically record the membrane potential via the quantum confined Stark effect, with single-particle sensitivity. We present here the approach, design rules, and feasibility proves for this concept. With further improvements, semiconductor nanoparticles could potentially be used to study signals from many neurons in a large field-of-view over a long duration. Moreover, they could potentially report and resolve voltage signals on the nanoscale.

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