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Nano Voltage Sensors

Objective

To understand how the brain works, tools need to be developed that will allow neuroscientists to investigate how interactions between individual neurons lead to emergent networks. Towards this goal, we will develop targetable voltage sensing nanorods that self-insert into the cell membrane and optically and non-invasively record action potentials at the single particle and nanoscale level, at multiple sites and across a large field-of-view. In semiconductors, absorption and emission band edges are modulated by an external electric field, even more so when optically excited electron-hole pairs are confined, giving rise to the quantum confined Stark effect. The physical origin of this effect is in the separation of photoexcited charges, creating a dipole that opposes the external field. The proposed sensors will optically record action potential with unique advantages not offered by other methods: much larger voltage sensitivity, high brightness, and hence single-particle voltage sensitivity, large spectral shift (affording noise-immune ratiometric measurements), fast temporal
response, minimal photobleaching, large Stokes shifts, large two-photon excitation cross sections, excellent performance in the NIR, and compatibility with lifetime imaging. The proposed sensors could afford, for example, the recording of pre- and post-synaptic membrane potentials, sub-threshold events, ultrafast spiking, individual ion channel activity, or a release of ions from single Ca+2 stores. In addition, deep tissue imaging could be afforded by two photon microscopy and far-field non-linear temporal focusing combined with lifetime imaging. Here we seek to optimize all aspects of the sensors’ synthesis, functionalization, delivery, targeting and detection, in order to provide neuroscientists and physiologists a viable and user-friendly technology that will be generally useful for the study of action potential signals in the brain and in healthy
or diseased heart and muscle tissues.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/electromagnetism and electronics/electrical conductivity/semiconductor

Call for proposal

ERC-2014-ADG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-ADG - Advanced Grant

Host institution

BAR ILAN UNIVERSITY
Address
Bar Ilan University Campus
52900 Ramat Gan
Israel
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 2 772 553

Beneficiaries (5)

BAR ILAN UNIVERSITY
Israel
EU contribution
€ 2 772 553
Address
Bar Ilan University Campus
52900 Ramat Gan
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA SANTE ET DE LA RECHERCHE MEDICALE
France
EU contribution
€ 225 000
Address
Rue De Tolbiac 101
75654 Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
GEORG-AUGUST-UNIVERSITAT GOTTINGENSTIFTUNG OFFENTLICHEN RECHTS
Germany
EU contribution
€ 175 000
Address
Wilhelmsplatz 1
37073 Gottingen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE
Israel
EU contribution
€ 175 000
Address
Herzl Street 234
7610001 Rehovot
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
United States
EU contribution
€ 150 000
Address
Franklin Street 1111, 12 Floor
94607 Oakland Ca
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments