Optical recordings of membrane potential using genetically targeted voltage-sensitive fluorescent proteins

Methods. 2003 May;30(1):42-8. doi: 10.1016/s1046-2023(03)00006-9.


Optical imaging of electrical activity using voltage-sensitive dyes has been envisaged for many years as a powerful method to investigate multineuronal representation of information processing in brain tissue. This article describes the advent of novel genetically targeted voltage-sensitive fluorescent proteins. This new class of membrane voltage sensors overcomes previous limitations related to the nonselective staining of membranes associated with conventional voltage-sensitive dyes. Here, we discuss the methodology, applications, and potential advantages of this novel technique.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Line
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Humans
  • Luminescent Proteins / chemistry
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Luminescent Proteins / physiology*
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Potassium Channels / chemistry
  • Potassium Channels / physiology


  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Potassium Channels
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins