Imaging Essential Metal Ions

The goal of this project is to develop imaging tools to visualize essential metal ions in vivo. Selective metal ion sensing probes are a crucial link toward elucidating metal ion homeostasis and disease conditions arising from metal ion concentration imbalance. We are particularly interested in developing probes for manganese which while essential at lower concentrations, causes neuronal deficits at higher levels. Manganese selective probes can facilitate tracking and quantitation of manganese under both physiological and pathophysiological conditions thereby affording molecular level insights into manganese homeostasis.

Our approach in this project is two-fold and involves the development of manganese selective ‘turn-on’ small molecule and protein based probes and further testing the probes in appropriate cellular and animal models mimicking manganese induced neuronal deficits.  In this project we focus on synthesis of small molecules, engineering proteins, and animal model development for imaging studies.

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Metal Ion Imaging

Phospholipid Sensing

Autophagy Sensors

Datta Group

Chemical Biology & Molecular Imaging

Text Box: Mn2+ exposure affects mechanotransduction in a Zebrafish larval model replicating Mn2+ over-exposure induced neuronal disorder.

FM dye-uptake in mechano-sensory cells

Chem. Commun. 2015

Dis. Model Mech. 2014