Voltage-sensing dyes and voltage-sensing fluorescence proteins have been continually improved and as a result have provided a wealth of insights into neuronal circuits. Further improvements in voltage-sensing dyes and voltage-sensing fluorescence proteins are needed, however, for routine detection of single action potentials across a large number of individual neurons in a large field-of-view of a live mammalian brain. On the other hand, recent experiments and calculations suggest that semiconducting nanoparticles could act as efficient voltage sensors, suitable for the above-mentioned task. This study presents quantum mechanical calculations, including Auger recombination rates, of the quantum-confined Stark effect in membrane-embedded semiconducting nanoparticles, examines their possible utility as membrane voltage sensors, and provide design rules for their structure and composition.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2017 Biophysical Society