Two-photon nano-PEBBLE sensors: subcellular pH measurements Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Ray, Aniruddha; Koo Lee, Yong- E; Epstein, Tamir; Kim, Gwangseong; Kopelman, Raoul


  • Intracellular pH mapping is of great importance as it plays a critical role in many cellular events. Also, in tissue, pH mapping can be an indicator for the onset of cancer. Here we describe a biocompatible, targeted, ratiometric, fluorescent, pH sensing nano-PEBBLE (Photonic Explorer for Biomedical use with Biologically Localized Embedding) that is based on two-photon excitation. Two-photon excitation minimizes the photobleaching and cell autofluorescence drastically, leading to an increase in the signal-to-noise ratio. PEBBLE nanosensors provide a novel approach for introducing membrane impermeant dyes, like HPTS, into cells. We use both non-targeted and F3 peptide targeted PEBBLE nanosensors for intracellular pH measurement of 9L cells. The intracellular measurements suggest that the non-targeted nanosensors are mostly trapped in endosomes, whereas the F3 peptide targeting enables them to escape/avoid these acidic compartments. Combining the advantages of pH sensitive PEBBLE nanoparticles, including their specific targeting, with the advantages of two-photon microscopy provides an attractive and promising prospect for non-invasive real-time monitoring of pH inside cancer cells and tissues.


publication date

  • 2011

published in

start page

  • 3616

end page

  • 22


  • 136