Theranostics 2013; 3(8):583-594. doi:10.7150/thno.6584 This issue


Novel Molecular and Nanosensors for In Vivo Sensing

Mark A. Eckert1*, Priscilla Q. Vu2*, Kaixiang Zhang1,3, Dongku Kang2, M. Monsur Ali2, Chenjie Xu4, Weian Zhao1✉

1. Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center and Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Irvine. 845 Health Sciences Road, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.
2. School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697
3. Department of Chemistry, Beijing Key Laboratory for Analytical Methods and Instrumentation, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China 100084
4. Division of Bioengineering, School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637457, Singapore
* MAE and PQV contributed equally to this work.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Eckert MA, Vu PQ, Zhang K, Kang D, Ali MM, Xu C, Zhao W. Novel Molecular and Nanosensors for In Vivo Sensing. Theranostics 2013; 3(8):583-594. doi:10.7150/thno.6584. Available from

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In vivo sensors are an emerging field with the potential to revolutionize our understanding of basic biology and our treatment of disease. In this review, we highlight recent advances in the fields of in vivo electrochemical, optical, and magnetic resonance biosensors with a focus on recent developments that have been validated in rodent models or human subjects. In addition, we discuss major challenges in the development and translation of in vivo biosensors and present potential solutions to these problems. The field of nanotechnology, in particular, has recently been instrumental in driving the field of in vivo sensors forward. We conclude with a discussion of emerging paradigms and techniques for the development of future biosensors.

Keywords: biosensors, molecular probes, in vivo imaging, in vivo sensing, nanoparticles, diagnostics