Particle-based optical sensing of intracellular ions at the example of calcium - What are the experimental pitfalls?

Karsten Kantner, Sumaira Ashraf, Susana Carregal-Romero, Carolina Carrillo-Carrion, Mayeul Collot, Pablo Del Pino, Wolfram Heimbrodt, Dorleta Jimenez De Aberasturi, Uwe Kaiser, Lyubov I. Kazakova, Marco Lelle, Natalia Martinez De Baroja, Jose Maria Montenegro, Moritz Nazarenus, Beatriz Pelaz, Kalina Peneva, Pilar Rivera Gil, Nadeem Sabir, Lorenz Maximilian Schneider, Lyudmila I. ShabarchinaGleb B. Sukhorukov, Margarita Vazquez, Fang Yang, Wolfgang J. Parak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Colloidal particles with fluorescence read-out are commonly used as sensors for the quantitative determination of ions. Calcium, for example, is a biologically highly relevant ion in signaling, and thus knowledge of its spatio-temporal distribution inside cells would offer important experimental data. However, the use of particle-based intracellular sensors for ion detection is not straightforward. Important associated problems involve delivery and intracellular location of particlebased fluorophores, crosstalk of the fluorescence read-out with pH, and spectral overlap of the emission spectra of different fluorophores. These potential problems are outlined and discussed here with selected experimental examples. Potential solutions are discussed and form a guideline for particle-based intracellular imaging of ions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)896-904
Number of pages9
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


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