Intracellular ion monitoring using a gold-core polymer-shell nanosensor architecture
in: Nanotechnology (2010)
In this study, we describe the design of new ratiometric fluorescent nanosensors, whose architecture is based on a gold core surrounded by a poly(vinyl alcohol)–polyacetal shell. To the gold core, indicator dyes and reference dyes are attached via a cysteine linker. This nanosensor architecture is flexible with regards to the number and types of fluorophore linkages possible. The robust poly(vinyl alcohol)–polyacetal shell protects the fluorophores linked to the core from non-specific interactions with intracellular proteins. The nanosensors developed in this way are biocompatible and can be easily incorporated into mammalian cells without the use of transfection agents. Here, we show the application of these nanosensors for intracellular pH and sodium ion measurements.