Nanoscale Optical Neuronal Recording using Nontoxic Quantum Probes

2015 Seed Grant
Lee Bassett, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania

We aim to develop a new class of multifunctional sensors that respond to chemical signals in the brain through quantum physics and that can be probed using light. The sensors are based on atom-scale defects in diamond nanoparticles, which are nontoxic, stable fluorophores harboring electron spins that respond to nanoscale magnetic fields. By attaching molecules to the nanoparticles’ surface that bind neurotransmitters, we aim to make the sensors chemically active, using the diamond spins to transduce dynamical changes in neurotransmitter concentrations into an optical signal. The resulting modular probes can be programmed to respond to specific neurotransmitters and targeted to specific cell types and locations (e.g., within synapses between neurons) to report the real-time activity of large-scale neuronal networks in living animals and, potentially, in humans.

Other Grants

Sarah C. Goetz, Ph.D., Duke University
Uncovering a Novel Role for Primary Cilia in Eph/Ephrin Signaling in Neurons
2022 Seed GrantSarah C. Goetz, Ph.D. Duke University Women’s Council Seed Grant Primary cilia are tiny projections from cells that function like an antenna- they receive and may also send…
Erin M. Gibson, Ph.D., Stanford University
Circadian Regulation of Oligodendroglial Senescence and Metabolomics in Aging
2022 Seed GrantErin M. Gibson, Ph.D.Stanford University The brain consists of two main classes of cells, neurons and glia. Glia make-up more than half of the cells in the brain…
Yvette Fisher, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Dynamic Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity During Spatial Exploration
2022 Seed GrantYvette Fisher, Ph.D.University of California, Berkeley The Virginia (Ginny) & Roger Carlson Seed Grant Cognitive flexibility is critical for appropriately adjusting thoughts and behaviors to meet changing demands…
Byoung Il Bae, Ph.D., University of Connecticut
Unique Vulnerability of Developing Human Cerebral Cortex to Loss of Centrosomal Protein
2022 Seed GrantByoung Il Bae, Ph.D.University of Connecticut Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation Seed Grant The cerebral cortex is the largest and outermost part of the human brain. It is…