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Special Issue "Intracellular Sensing"

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A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Biosensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Magnus Willander

Department of Science and Technology (ITN), Campus Norrköping, Linköping University, SE 60174 Norrköping, Sweden
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +46 13 281000
Interests: nanomaterials; sensors; nanodevices; soft and solid materials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Intracellular sensing (e.g., the sensing of reactive oxygen species, metal ions, pH, etc.) is important for understanding cell functioning. In the last few years, advances in nanotechnology, and in the synthesis of nanomaterials, have played a dominant role in the development of intracellular sensing. This special issue welcomes papers that deal with all sensing techniques, such as fluorescent nanoparticles (NPs), semiconductor NPs, metal NPs, and polymer NPs, as well as all types of nanowire and nanotube based-sensors, MEMS probes, etc. Besides manuscripts dealing with the sensors themselves, and what they can sense, manuscripts on sensor biocompatibility and cytotoxicity are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Magnus Willander
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs).


Keywords

  • nanomaterials
  • nanosensors
  • nanodevices
  • soft and solid materials
  • experiment and theory

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Quantum Dot-Based Molecular Beacon to Monitor Intracellular MicroRNAs
Sensors 2015, 15(6), 12872-12883; doi:10.3390/s150612872
Received: 20 March 2015 / Revised: 26 May 2015 / Accepted: 29 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2070 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fluorescence monitoring of endogenous microRNA (miRNA or miR) activity related to neuronal development using nano-sized materials provides crucial information on miRNA expression patterns in a noninvasive manner. In this study, we report a new method to monitor intracellular miRNA124a using quantum dot-based molecular
[...] Read more.
Fluorescence monitoring of endogenous microRNA (miRNA or miR) activity related to neuronal development using nano-sized materials provides crucial information on miRNA expression patterns in a noninvasive manner. In this study, we report a new method to monitor intracellular miRNA124a using quantum dot-based molecular beacon (R9-QD-miR124a beacon). The R9-QD-miR124a beacon was constructed using QDs and two probes, miR124a-targeting oligomer and arginine rich cell-penetrating peptide (R9 peptide). The miR124a-targeting oligomer contains a miR124a binging sequence and a black hole quencher 1 (BHQ1). In the absence of target miR124a, the R9-QD-miR124a beacon forms a partial duplex beacon and remained in quenched state because the BHQ1 quenches the fluorescence signal of the R9-QD-miR124a beacon. The binding of miR124a to the miR124a binding sequence of the miR124a-targeting oligomer triggered the separation of the BHQ1 quencher and subsequent signal-on of a red fluorescence signal. Moreover, enhanced cellular uptake was achieved by conjugation with the R9 peptide, which resulted in increased fluorescent signal of the R9-QD-miR124a beacons in P19 cells during neurogenesis due to the endogenous expression of miR124a. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intracellular Sensing)
Open AccessArticle Fluorescence Characteristics and Lifetime Images of Photosensitizers of Talaporfin Sodium and Sodium Pheophorbide a in Normal and Cancer Cells
Sensors 2015, 15(5), 11417-11430; doi:10.3390/s150511417
Received: 19 March 2015 / Revised: 1 May 2015 / Accepted: 11 May 2015 / Published: 18 May 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5004 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fluorescence spectra and fluorescence lifetime images of talaporfin sodium and sodium-pheophorbide a, which can be regarded as photosensitizers for photodynamic therapy, were measured in normal and cancer cells. The reduction of the fluorescence intensity by photoirradiation was observed for both photosensitizers in both
[...] Read more.
Fluorescence spectra and fluorescence lifetime images of talaporfin sodium and sodium-pheophorbide a, which can be regarded as photosensitizers for photodynamic therapy, were measured in normal and cancer cells. The reduction of the fluorescence intensity by photoirradiation was observed for both photosensitizers in both cells, but the quenching rate was much faster in cancer cells than in normal cells. These results are explained in terms of the excessive generation of reactive oxygen species via photoexcitation of these photosensitizers in cancer cells. The fluorescence lifetimes of both photosensitizers in cancer cells are different from those in normal cells, which originates from the different intracellular environments around the photosensitizers between normal and cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intracellular Sensing)
Open AccessArticle Determination of Zinc, Cadmium and Lead Bioavailability in Contaminated Soils at the Single-Cell Level by a Combination of Whole-Cell Biosensors and Flow Cytometry
Sensors 2015, 15(4), 8981-8999; doi:10.3390/s150408981
Received: 16 February 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 10 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1477 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Zinc, lead and cadmium are metallic trace elements (MTEs) that are widespread in the environment and tend to accumulate in soils because of their low mobility and non-degradability. The purpose of this work is to evaluate the applicability of biosensors as tools able
[...] Read more.
Zinc, lead and cadmium are metallic trace elements (MTEs) that are widespread in the environment and tend to accumulate in soils because of their low mobility and non-degradability. The purpose of this work is to evaluate the applicability of biosensors as tools able to provide data about the bioavailability of such MTEs in contaminated soils. Here, we tested the genetically-engineered strain Escherichia coli pPZntAgfp as a biosensor applicable to the detection of zinc, lead and cadmium by the biosynthesis of green fluorescent protein (GFP) accumulating inside the cells. Flow cytometry was used to investigate the fluorescence induced by the MTEs. A curvilinear response to zinc between 0 and 25 mg/L and another curvilinear response to cadmium between 0 and 1.5 mg/L were highlighted in liquid media, while lead did not produce exploitable results. The response relating to a Zn2+/Cd2+ ratio of 10 was further investigated. In these conditions, E. coli pPZntAgfp responded to cadmium only. Several contaminated soils with a Zn2+/Cd2+ ratio of 10 were analyzed with the biosensor, and the metallic concentrations were also measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy. Our results showed that E. coli pPZntAgfp could be used as a monitoring tool for contaminated soils being processed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intracellular Sensing)
Open AccessArticle Hyper, a Hydrogen Peroxide Sensor, Indicates the Sensitivity of the Arabidopsis Root Elongation Zone to Aluminum Treatment
Sensors 2015, 15(1), 855-867; doi:10.3390/s150100855
Received: 4 July 2014 / Accepted: 3 December 2014 / Published: 6 January 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1979 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Emerging evidence indicates that some reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as the superoxide anion radical and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), are central regulators of plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Thus, the cellular levels of ROS are thought to
[...] Read more.
Emerging evidence indicates that some reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as the superoxide anion radical and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), are central regulators of plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Thus, the cellular levels of ROS are thought to be tightly regulated by an efficient and elaborate pro- and antioxidant system that modulates the production and scavenging of ROS. Until recently, studies of ROS in plant cells have been limited to biochemical assays and the use of fluorescent probes; however, the irreversible oxidation of these fluorescent probes makes it impossible to visualize dynamic changes in ROS levels. In this work, we describe the use of Hyper, a recently developed live cell probe for H2O2 measurements in living cells, to monitor oxidative stress in Arabidopsis roots subjected to aluminum treatment. Hyper consists of a circularly permuted YFP (cpYFP) inserted into the regulatory domain of the Escherichia coli hydrogen peroxide-binding protein (OxyR), and is a H2O2-specific ratiometric, and therefore quantitative, probe that can be expressed in plant and animal cells. Now we demonstrate that H2O2 levels drop sharply in the elongation zone of roots treated with aluminum. This response could contribute to root growth arrest and provides evidence that H2O2 is involved in early Al sensing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intracellular Sensing)

Review

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Open AccessReview ZnO Nanostructure-Based Intracellular Sensor
Sensors 2015, 15(5), 11787-11804; doi:10.3390/s150511787
Received: 15 March 2015 / Revised: 23 April 2015 / Accepted: 13 May 2015 / Published: 21 May 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2290 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently ZnO has attracted much interest because of its usefulness for intracellular measurements of biochemical species by using its semiconducting, electrochemical, catalytic properties and for being biosafe and biocompatible. ZnO thus has a wide range of applications in optoelectronics, intracellular nanosensors, transducers, energy
[...] Read more.
Recently ZnO has attracted much interest because of its usefulness for intracellular measurements of biochemical species by using its semiconducting, electrochemical, catalytic properties and for being biosafe and biocompatible. ZnO thus has a wide range of applications in optoelectronics, intracellular nanosensors, transducers, energy conversion and medical sciences. This review relates specifically to intracellular electrochemical (glucose and free metal ion) biosensors based on functionalized zinc oxide nanowires/nanorods. For intracellular measurements, the ZnO nanowires/nanorods were grown on the tip of a borosilicate glass capillary (0.7 µm in diameter) and functionalized with membranes or enzymes to produce intracellular selective metal ion or glucose sensors. Successful intracellular measurements were carried out using ZnO nanowires/nanorods grown on small tips for glucose and free metal ions using two types of cells, human fat cells and frog oocytes. The sensors in this study were used to detect real-time changes of metal ions and glucose across human fat cells and frog cells using changes in the electrochemical potential at the interface of the intracellular micro-environment. Such devices are helpful in explaining various intracellular processes involving ions and glucose. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intracellular Sensing)
Open AccessReview Engineering Genetically Encoded FRET Sensors
Sensors 2014, 14(7), 11691-11713; doi:10.3390/s140711691
Received: 19 May 2014 / Revised: 24 June 2014 / Accepted: 26 June 2014 / Published: 2 July 2014
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (1818 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) between two fluorescent proteins can be exploited to create fully genetically encoded and thus subcellularly targetable sensors. FRET sensors report changes in energy transfer between a donor and an acceptor fluorescent protein that occur when an attached sensor
[...] Read more.
Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) between two fluorescent proteins can be exploited to create fully genetically encoded and thus subcellularly targetable sensors. FRET sensors report changes in energy transfer between a donor and an acceptor fluorescent protein that occur when an attached sensor domain undergoes a change in conformation in response to ligand binding. The design of sensitive FRET sensors remains challenging as there are few generally applicable design rules and each sensor must be optimized anew. In this review we discuss various strategies that address this shortcoming, including rational design approaches that exploit self-associating fluorescent domains and the directed evolution of FRET sensors using high-throughput screening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intracellular Sensing)

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