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Optical Oxygen Micro- and Nanosensors for Plant Applications

NanoPolyPhotonik, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research, Geiselbergstr. 69, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
Energy Metabolism Research Group, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
Department of Physical Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2012, 12(6), 7015-7032;
Received: 15 March 2012 / Revised: 1 May 2012 / Accepted: 14 May 2012 / Published: 25 May 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers and Nanosensors: New Approaches for Biology and Medicine)
PDF [344 KB, uploaded 21 June 2014]


Pioneered by Clark’s microelectrode more than half a century ago, there has been substantial interest in developing new, miniaturized optical methods to detect molecular oxygen inside cells. While extensively used for animal tissue measurements, applications of intracellular optical oxygen biosensors are still scarce in plant science. A critical aspect is the strong autofluorescence of the green plant tissue that interferes with optical signals of commonly used oxygen probes. A recently developed dual-frequency phase modulation technique can overcome this limitation, offering new perspectives for plant research. This review gives an overview on the latest optical sensing techniques and methods based on phosphorescence quenching in diverse tissues and discusses the potential pitfalls for applications in plants. The most promising oxygen sensitive probes are reviewed plus different oxygen sensing structures ranging from micro-optodes to soluble nanoparticles. Moreover, the applicability of using heterologously expressed oxygen binding proteins and fluorescent proteins to determine changes in the cellular oxygen concentration are discussed as potential non-invasive cellular oxygen reporters. View Full-Text
Keywords: oxygen sensor; biosensors; microsensors; nanosensors; endogenous sensor proteins; dual-frequency phase‑modulation; phosphorescence quenching; plant science oxygen sensor; biosensors; microsensors; nanosensors; endogenous sensor proteins; dual-frequency phase‑modulation; phosphorescence quenching; plant science
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Ast, C.; Schmälzlin, E.; Löhmannsröben, H.-G.; Van Dongen, J.T. Optical Oxygen Micro- and Nanosensors for Plant Applications. Sensors 2012, 12, 7015-7032.

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