Prof. Jung Ho Je Develops Active Nanowire to Enable Quantitative Measurement of Cu2+ Ions
Prof. Jung Ho Je (Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering) and his student Junho Lee, in collaboration with Prof. Kyoung-Tai Kim’s group (School of Interdisciplinary Bioscience and Bioengineering), have developed an active nanowire waveguide probe that enables quantitative measurement of Cu2+ ions naturally present in single living cells. Their research was published in the online edition of Advanced Materials.
By inserting the active nanowire-based waveguide probes into single living cells, intracellular Cu2+ ions were quantitatively measured based on direct observation of PL quenching by Cu2+ ions. For the first time, Prof. Jung Ho Je’s group revealed that the intracellular concentrations of Cu2+ ions in single hippocampal and cortical neurons are 3.34 ± 1.04 M (mean s.e.m.) and 1.59 ± 0.99 M (mean s.e.m), respectively.
Copper is one of the essential trace elements present in human body and it plays vital roles in many fundamental neurological processes. Disruption of intracellular homeostasis of Cu2+ ions is closely associated with severe neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Quantitative probing of metal ions including Cu2+ in natural living cells is a prerequisite to investigate intracellular homeostasis but is largely unexplored, mostly due to the lack of appropriate probing methods. The team’s quantitative probing of Cu2+ ions in single living neurons will provide insight into the role of Cu2+ ions in neurobiology and neurological diseases.