Research Highlights

Prof. Jung Ho Je Develops Active Nanowire to Enable Quantitative Measurement of Cu2+ Ions

2016-04-25 244

Prof. Jung Ho Je's research team photo
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.