Nanometre-sized molecular oxygen sensors prepared from polymer stabilized phospholipid vesicles

Zhiliang Cheng, Craig A. Aspinwall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Nanometre-sized, chemically-stabilized phospholipid vesicle sensors have been developed for detection of dissolved molecular oxygen. Sensors were prepared by forming 150 nm phospholipid vesicles from 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine (DOPC) or DOPC doped with small (<1%) mole percentages of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanol amine-N-(7-nitro-2-1,3-benzoxadiazol-4- yl) (NBD-PE). Sensors were stabilized via cross-linking polymerization of hydrophobic methacrylate monomers partitioned into the hydrophobic interior of the DOPC bilayer. The resultant unilamellar, nanometre-sized, polymer-lipid vesicles are spherical, biocompatible and protect sensing components that are loaded into the aqueous interior of the vesicle from interfering species in the exterior environment. For O2 detection, the oxygen-sensitive fluorescent dye, tris(1,10-phenanthroline)ruthenium(ii) chloride (Ru(phen) 3) was encapsulated into the aqueous interior of the polymerized phospholipid vesicle. NBD-PE was introduced into the phospholipid bilayer of the sensor as a reference dye, allowing ratiometric sensors to be constructed. The resultant sensors show high sensitivity, excellent reversibility and excellent linearity over a physiological range of dissolved oxygen concentrations. These results suggest that polymerized phospholipid vesicle sensors can be used for monitoring intracellular O2 dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-243
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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