Microencapsulated fluorescent pH probe as implantable sensor for monitoring the physiological state of fish embryos

In vivo physiological measurement is a major challenge in modern science and technology, as is environment conservation at the global scale. Proper toxicological testing of widely produced mixtures of chemicals is a necessary step in the development of new products, allowing us to minimise the human impact on aquatic ecosystems. However, currently available bioassay-based techniques utilising small aquatic organisms such as fish embryos for toxicity testing do not allow assessing in time the changes in physiological parameters in the same individual. In this study, the authors introduce microencapsulated fluorescent probes as a promising tool for in vivo monitoring of internal pH variation in zebrafish embryos. The pH alteration identified under stress conditions demonstrates the applicability of the microencapsulated fluorescent probes for the repeated analysis of the embryo’s physiological state. The proposed approach has strong potential to simultaneously measure a range of physiological characteristics using a set of specific fluorescent probes and to finally bring toxicological bioassays and related research fields to a new level of effectiveness and sensitivity.

Authors: Gurkov A, Sadovoy A, Shchapova E, Teh C, Meglinski I, Timofeyev M. ; Full Source: PLoS One. 2017 Oct 18;12(10): e0186548. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0186548. eCollection 2017.