Sensors in a Flash! Oxygen Nanosensors for Microbial Metabolic Monitoring Synthesized by Flash Nanoprecipitation

Tony Tien, Samuel C. Saccomano, Pilar A. Martin, Madeleine S. Armstrong, Robert K. Prud'Homme, Kevin J. Cash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Flash nanoprecipitation (FNP) is an efficient and scalable nanoparticle synthesis method that has not previously been applied to nanosensor fabrication. Current nanosensor fabrication methods have traditionally exhibited poor replicability and consistency resulting in high batch-to-batch variability, highlighting the need for a more tunable and efficient method such as FNP. We used FNP to fabricate nanosensors to sense oxygen based on an oxygen-sensitive dye and a reference dye, as a tool for measuring microbial metabolism. We used fluorescence spectroscopy to optimize nanosensor formulations, calibrate the nanosensors for oxygen concentration determination, and measure oxygen concentrations through oxygen-sensitive dye luminescence. FNP provides an effective platform for making sensors capable of responding to oxygen concentration in gas-bubbled solutions as well as in microbial environments. The environments we tested the sensors in arePseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms andSaccharomyces cerevisiae liquid cultures─both settings where oxygen concentration is highly dependent on microbial activity. With FNP now applied to nanosensor fabrication, future nanosensor applications can take advantage of improved product quality through better replicability and consistency while maintaining the original function of the nanosensor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2606-2614
Number of pages9
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 23 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


  • FNP
  • Nanoparticle fabrication
  • flash nanoprecipitation
  • metabolism
  • nanosensors
  • oxygen


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