Cellular Potassium Imaging Using A Ratiometric Fluorescent Sensor

Tech ID: 30562 / UC Case 2020-014-0

Patent Status

Patent Pending

Brief Description

The inventors developed a ratiometric fluorescent small molecule probe for potassium ion detection composed of a duo-fluorophore system (KR-1). UV-vis detector and fluorometer measurement support ratiometric response of the probe towards potassium ion concentration. The probe was further applied to cellular potassium level detection using confocal microscope imaging technique. KR-1 enables simple determination of potassium levels in various cancer or non-cancer cell lines.

Suggested uses

The invention allows the sensitive and selective ratiometric detection of biologically-relevant concentrations of K+ in aqueous solution at physiological pH as well as in intact, living biological specimens.


This probe includes a ratiometric readout which enables internal self-calibration through a conjugated standard fluorophore. Ratiometric calibration minimizes interference arising from analyte-independent phenomena such as sample thickness, heterogeneity, and variations in light intensity, and also enables quantitative readout of K+ levels among cell lines.

Fluorescent sensors are non-invasive, high signal-to-noise tools that can accurately map a variety of biological analytes. While small-molecule fluorescent sensors for potassium have been developed previously, those sensors suffer various shortcomings which hamper their utilization for the visualization of intracellular potassium in biological samples.


Related Materials


Learn About UC TechAlerts - Save Searches and receive new technology matches


  • Chang, Christopher J.

Other Information


Potassium, fluorescent sensor, ratiometric

Categorized As