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Design Rules for Membrane-Embedded Voltage-Sensing Nanoparticles.

  • Author(s): Park, Kyoungwon;
  • Weiss, Shimon
  • et al.

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Voltage-sensing dyes and voltage-sensing fluorescence proteins have been continually improved and as a result have provided a wealth of insights into neuronal circuits. Further improvements in voltage-sensing dyes and voltage-sensing fluorescence proteins are needed, however, for routine detection of single action potentials across a large number of individual neurons in a large field-of-view of a live mammalian brain. On the other hand, recent experiments and calculations suggest that semiconducting nanoparticles could act as efficient voltage sensors, suitable for the above-mentioned task. This study presents quantum mechanical calculations, including Auger recombination rates, of the quantum-confined Stark effect in membrane-embedded semiconducting nanoparticles, examines their possible utility as membrane voltage sensors, and provide design rules for their structure and composition.

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