Nanoscale Optical Voltage Sensors

Tech ID: 25902 / UC Case 2016-298-0


UCLA researchers have developed a nanoscale optical voltage sensor.


UCLA researchers have developed nanoscale optical voltage sensor. The hybrid structure of the sensor allows active manipulation of light signals at sub-wavelength scale. NOVS can sensitively and rapidly transduce membrane voltage signals into detectable optical signals for direct recording and monitoring.


  • Nanoscale electro-optics
  • Information displays
  • In vitro and in vivo voltage sensors for highly sensitive real-time monitoring cellular membrane potential
  • In situ monitoring of local electric fields
  • Monitoring of voltage propagation in neurons
  • Neuronal and brain mapping


  • Real time modulation of plasmonic resonance
  • Enable creations of a new generation of nanoscale voltage sensors
  • Larger voltage sensitivity detection and mapping capabilities of neuronal electrophysiological signals and brain function connectivity
  • High sensitivity, resolution, and throughput
  • Can be flexibly delivered into living tissue via the vascular system and minimally invasive probes
  • Can be expanded in detecting, imaging, monitoring and manipulating neuronal activity

State Of Development

The invention has been successfully prototyped and demonstrated.

Related Materials

Patent Status

Patent Pending


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  • Duan, Xiangfeng

Other Information


Nanoscale, optical, voltage sensor, neuron, electric field monitoring, voltage propagation, voltage sensor, in vitro monitoring, in vivo monitoring, cellular membrane potential

Categorized As