Improved Surface Functionalization and Characterization of Membrane-Targeted Semiconductor Voltage Nanosensors

Joonhyuck Park, Yung Kuo, Jack Li, Yi Lin Huang, Evan W. Miller, Shimon Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Type-II ZnSe/CdS voltage-sensing seeded nanorods (vsNRs) were functionalized with α-helical peptides and zwitterionic-decorated lipoic acids (zw-LAs). Specific membrane targeting with high loading efficiency and minimal nonspecific binding was achieved. These vsNRs display quantum yield (QY) modulation as a function of membrane potential (MP) changes, as demonstrated at the ensemble level for (i) vesicles treated with valinomycin and (ii) wild-type HEK cells under alternating buffers with different [K+]. ΔF/F of ∼1% was achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3906-3913
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number14
StatePublished - 18 Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge Dr. H. Ronald Kaback for assisting with the chemically driven cell membrane modulation assay. We acknowledge Dr. Emory Chan for help with the WANDA instrument. We acknowledge the help of Antonino Ingargiola for processing data from the modulation assay. We also acknowledge the use of instruments at the Electron Imaging Center for NanoMachines supported by the NIH (1S10RR23057 and GM071940 to Z.H.Z.) and the Advanced Light Microscopy/Spectroscopy core, both at the California NanoSystems Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. Lastly, we acknowledge the participation in the USER Program (#1726 and #3244) of the Molecular Foundry at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. S.W. acknowledges funding from the United States–Israel Binational Science Foundation (#2010382), the Human Frontier Science Program (#RGP0061/2015), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency/Biological Technologies Office Award No. #D14PC00141, the European Research Council (ERC) advanced Grant NVS #669941, and the BER program of the Department of Energy Office of Science, Grant # DE-FC03-02ER63421. This work was also supported by STROBE: A National Science Foundation Science & Technology Center under Grant No. DMR 1548924. E.W.M. acknowledges support from the NIH (R35GM119855).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society.


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