Scientists have discovered a new method for measuring electricity in cells

Electricity is a key component of living organisms. It is known that in biological systems the difference is important

stress.They control the heartbeat and allow neurons to communicate with each other. But for decades, it has been impossible to measure the voltage difference between organelles - the membrane structures inside a cell - and the rest of the cell. The new technology has allowed researchers to look inside cells to see how many different organelles use tension to perform functions.

“Scientists have long noticed that the charged dyes used to stain cells get stuck in the mitochondria,” explained PhD student Anand Saminathan, the first author of the article published in journal Nature Nanotechnology ... "But little has been done to investigate the membrane potential of other organelles in living cells."

Krishnan's Laboratory in CaliforniaThe University of Chicago specializes in creating tiny sensors that move inside cells and report what is happening inside. This allows researchers to understand how cells work and how they are destroyed in diseases or disorders.

In a new study, they decided to use this technique to study the electrical activity of organelles within living cells.

There are proteins in the membranes of neurons - ion channels -which act as a gateway for charged ions to enter and exit the cell. These channels are necessary for neurons to communicate. Previous research has shown organelles have similar ion channels, but scientists weren't sure what role they played.

The new Voltair explorer tool allowsexplore this issue deeper. This is a dedicated DNA-based voltmeter for organelles. It works like a voltmeter, measuring the voltage difference in two different areas within the cell. Voltair can penetrate directly into the cell and access deeper structures.

In their initial researchthe researchers looked for membrane potentials - the difference in voltage within an organelle versus an external one. They found evidence for this potential in several organelles that were previously thought to have no membrane potential at all.

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