Visualizing metal ions in cells: An overview of analytical techniques, approaches, and probes

Kevin M. Dean, Yan Qin, Amy E. Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

102 Scopus citations


Quantifying the amount and defining the location of metal ions in cells and organisms are critical steps in understanding metal homeostasis and how dyshomeostasis causes or is a consequence of disease. A number of recent advances have been made in the development and application of analytical methods to visualize metal ions in biological specimens. Here, we briefly summarize these advances before focusing in more depth on probes for examining transition metals in living cells with high spatial and temporal resolution using fluorescence microscopy. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cell Biology of Metals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1406-1415
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012



  • Fluorescence imaging
  • Fluorescent sensors
  • Imaging metal ions in cells
  • Metal ion homeostasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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