Optical Sensors for Quantification of Intracellular Redox Potentials
Conference Recording Nov 11, 2013
About the Speaker
Colin Campbell is a Lecturer in Medicinal and Biological Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh working exclusively at the interface with biology. His interest is primarily in understanding the role of redox processes in determining cell behaviour. His research primarily focuses on developing new biophysical techniques to measure cellular redox states and developing new approaches to analyse, visualize and interpret redox biology. He plays the bagpipes and enjoys running.
Redox signaling is important in determining cell fate decisions and plays a pivotal role in the pathology of diseases such as cancer and neurodegeneration. There are significant challenges in quantitatively measuring intracellular redox potentials, and in this presentation, I will introduce a new approach. This approach is based on the use of nanosensors which comprise molecules that sense the local redox potential, assembled on a gold nanoshell. Since the Raman spectrum of the sensor molecule changes depending on its oxidation state and since the nanoshell allows a huge enhancement of the Raman spectrum, intracellular potential can be calculated by a simple optical measurement. The nanosensors can be controllably delivered cells, without any toxic effects, allowing redox potential to be monitored in a reversible, non-invasive manner over a previously unattainable potential range encompassing both superphysiological and physiological oxidative stress. In this presentation, the concept, the reporter molecules and the technique will be introduced. Furthermore, I will discuss how we have used this approach to study the regulation of redox potential in apoptosis and have correlated redox potential changes with changes in caspase activity.