Dendrimer-based fluorescent indicators: in vitro and in vivo applications

Albertazzi, Lorenzo and Brondi, Marco and Pavan, Giovanni Maria and Sato, Sebastian Sulis and Signore, Giovanni and Storti, Barbara and Ratto, Gian Michele and Beltram, Fabio (2011) Dendrimer-based fluorescent indicators: in vitro and in vivo applications. PloS one, 6 (12). e28450. ISSN 1932-6203

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Background The development of fluorescent proteins and synthetic molecules whose fluorescence properties are controlled by the environment makes it possible to monitor physiological and pathological events in living systems with minimal perturbation. A large number of small organic dyes are available and routinely used to measure biologically relevant parameters. Unfortunately their application is hindered by a number of limitations stemming from the use of these small molecules in the biological environment. Principal Findings We present a novel dendrimer-based architecture leading to multifunctional sensing elements that can overcome many of these problems. Applications in vitro, in living cells and in vivo are reported. In particular, we image for the first time extracellular pH in the brain in a mouse epilepsy model. Conclusion We believe that the proposed architecture can represent a useful and novel tool in fluorescence imaging that can be widely applied in conjunction with a broad range of sensing dyes and experimental setups.

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