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Chemosensors 2017, 5(4), 32; doi:10.3390/chemosensors5040032

Illuminating Brain Activities with Fluorescent Protein-Based Biosensors

1
California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, QB3, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
2
Center for Membrane and Cell Physiology, and Biomedical Sciences (BIMS) Graduate Program, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA
3
Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA
4
Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 October 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluorescent Probes for Live Cell Imaging)
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Abstract

Fluorescent protein-based biosensors are indispensable molecular tools for life science research. The invention and development of high-fidelity biosensors for a particular molecule or molecular event often catalyze important scientific breakthroughs. Understanding the structural and functional organization of brain activities remain a subject for which optical sensors are in desperate need and of growing interest. Here, we review genetically encoded fluorescent sensors for imaging neuronal activities with a focus on the design principles and optimizations of various sensors. New bioluminescent sensors useful for deep-tissue imaging are also discussed. By highlighting the protein engineering efforts and experimental applications of these sensors, we can consequently analyze factors influencing their performance. Finally, we remark on how future developments can fill technological gaps and lead to new discoveries. View Full-Text
Keywords: fluorescent proteins; biosensors; fluorescent probes/indicators; brain imaging; genetically encoded calcium indicators; genetically encoded voltage sensors; genetically encoded glutamate sensors; synaptic activity indicators; pH indicators; bioluminescent sensors fluorescent proteins; biosensors; fluorescent probes/indicators; brain imaging; genetically encoded calcium indicators; genetically encoded voltage sensors; genetically encoded glutamate sensors; synaptic activity indicators; pH indicators; bioluminescent sensors
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Chen, Z.; Truong, T.M.; Ai, H.-W. Illuminating Brain Activities with Fluorescent Protein-Based Biosensors. Chemosensors 2017, 5, 32.

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