Near-Infrared Fluorescent Probe for Monitoring Mitochondrial Membrane Potential

Tech ID: 27445 / UC Case 2015-252-0

Patent Status

Patent Pending


The global market for life science research tools and reagents is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.8% between 2015 and 2020. Among these products are fluorescent probes for measuring mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP). Mitochondria are involved in several essential biological functions such as energy production, cell respiration, cell proliferation, and cell death. As a result, accurately monitoring MMP is of interest to researchers in academia and industry, and involved in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and mitochondrial disease. However, current fluorescent probes have less-than ideal fluorescent contrast, photostability, emission wavelengths, and distribution patterns within the cell.

Brief Description

Prof. Hui-wang Ai and colleagues at UCR have developed a new near-infrared fluorescent MMP probe that provides a number of advantages over current probes. Due to its improved chemistry the new probe, named NIMAP, delivers high sensitivity given its high fluorescence contrast and low background fluorescence. It has optimal emissions (above 600 nm) for mammalian in vivo and in vitro studies and improved accumulation within mitochondria which improves its quantitative analysis possibilities. NIMAP is also extremely photostable and can be utilized to monitor MMP for an extended period. Given these properties, NIMAP may be a powerful tool for studying MMP and mitochondrial function in various biological settings.



Fig. 1 Fluorescence excitation (open circle) and emission (closed circle) spectra of NIMAP in liposomes (red) or an aqueous solution (blue). The normalized absorbance of NIMAP in the aqueous solution is also shown (gray line).

Suggested uses

  • Probe for fluorescent imaging of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP)
  • May be used in research related to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, and other mitochondrial disease

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Other Information


Fluorescent, fluorescence, probe, mitochondrial membrane potential, imaging, reagent, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS, mitochondrial disease, mitochondria

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