Nanosensing at the single cell level.
This article presents an overview of the development, operation, and applications of optical nanobiosensors for use in in vivo detection of biotargets in individual living cells. The nanobiosensors are equipped with immobilized bioreceptor probes (e.g., antibodies, enzyme substrate) selective to specific molecular targets. Laser excitation is transmitted into the fiber producing an evanescent field at the tip of the fiber in order to excite target molecules bound to the bioreceptors immobilized at the fiber tips. A photometric system detects the optical signal (e.g., fluorescence) originated from the analyte molecules or from the analyte-bioreceptor reaction. Examples of detection of biospecies and molecular signaling pathways of apoptosis in a living cell are discussed to illustrate the potential of the nanobiosensor technology for single cell analysis.
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