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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Optical nanoparticle sensors for quantitative intracellular imaging

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Abstract Real‐time measurements of biological/chemical/physical processes, with no interferences, are an ultimate goal for in vivo intracellular studies. To construct intracellular biosensors that meet such a goal, nanoparticle (NP) platforms seem to be most promising, because of their small size and excellent engineerability. This review describes the development of NP‐based opical sensors and their intracellular applications. The sensor designs are classified into two types, based on the sensor structures regarding analyte receptor and signal transducer. Type 1 sensors, with a single component for both receptor and transducer, work by mechanisms similar to those of ‘molecular probes’. Type 2 sensors, with a separate component for receptor and transducer, work by different mechanisms that require the presence of specific NPs. A synergistic increase in optical signal or selectivity has been reported for these second type of NP sensors. With ongoing rapid advances in nanotechnology and instrumentation, these NP systems will soon be capable of sensing at the single‐molecule level, at the point of interest within the living cell, and capable of simultaneously detecting multiple analytes and physical parameters. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. This article is categorized under: Diagnostic Tools > Diagnostic Nanodevices

Schematic presentation of two kinds of nanoparticles (NP) sensors: (a) Type 1 where a single component serves as receptor and transducer; (b) Type 2 where receptor and transducer are separated but they communicate in order to produce optical signal change upon binding.

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Confocal microscope image (time snapshot) of three human C6 glioma cells that contain Calcium Green/sulfarhodamine Photonic Explorer for Biomedical use with Biologically Localized Embeddings (PEBBLEs) (with m− dinitrobenzene (DNB) toxin dffusing from left to right). (Reprinted, with permission, from Ref. 64. Copyright 2003 Taylor & Francis Group).

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