Optical Nanosensor for Intracellular and Intracranial Detection of Amyloid-Beta

Merav Antman-Passig, Eitan Wong, Georgia R. Frost, Christian Cupo, Janki Shah, Albert Agustinus, Ziyu Chen, Chiara Mancinelli, Maikel Kamel, Thomas Li, Lauren A. Jonas, Yue Ming Li, Daniel A. Heller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Amyloid-beta (Aβ) deposition occurs in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but the early detection of Aβ is a persistent challenge. Herein, we engineered a near-infrared optical nanosensor capable of detecting Aβ intracellularly in live cells and intracranially in vivo. The sensor is composed of single-walled carbon nanotubes functionalized with Aβ wherein Aβ-Aβ interactions drive the response. We found that the Aβ nanosensors selectively responded to Aβ via solvatochromic modulation of the near-infrared emission of the nanotube. The sensor tracked Aβ accumulation in live cells and, upon intracranial administration in a genetic model of AD, signaled distinct responses in aged mice. This technology enables the interrogation of molecular mechanisms underlying Aβ neurotoxicity in the development of AD in living systems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Nano
StatePublished - 24 May 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the NCI and Cancer Center Support Grant P30-CA008748, NINDS (R01-NS116353), NIA (R01AG061350), the National Science Foundation CAREER Award (1752506), the JPB Foundation (MR-2020-2155), the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Fund, the American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grant (GC230452), the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance, the Honorable Tina Brozman Foundation for Ovarian Cancer Research, the Expect Miracles Foundation - Financial Services Against Cancer, the Anna Fuller Fund, the Louis and Rachel Rudin Foundation, Emerson Collective, MSK’s Cycle for Survival’s Equinox Innovation Award in Rare Cancers, the Alan and Sandra Gerry Metastasis Research Initiative, Mr. William H. Goodwin and Mrs. Alice Goodwin and the Commonwealth Foundation for Cancer Research, and the Experimental Therapeutics Center of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. M.A.P. was supported by the Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation. A.A. was supported by the PhRMA Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship.

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  • biosensor
  • carbon nanomaterials
  • fluorescence
  • nanocarbon
  • neurodegenerative disease


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