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Science. 1992 Oct 30;258(5083):778-81.

Submicrometer intracellular chemical optical fiber sensors.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109.


A thousandfold miniaturization of immobilized optical fiber sensors, a millionfold or more sample reduction, and at least a hundredfold shorter response time, all simultaneously, were achieved by combining nanofabricated optical fiber tips with near-field photopolymerization. Specifically, pH optical fiber sensors were prepared with internal calibration, making use of the differences in both fluorescence and absorption of the acidic and basic dye species. The submicrometer sensors have excellent detection limits, as well as photostability, reversibility, and millisecond response times. Successful applications include intracellular and intraembryonic measurements. Potential applications include spatially and temporally resolved chemical analysis and kinetics inside single biological cells and their substructures.

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