Review

Quantum Dots for Live Cells, in Vivo Imaging, and Diagnostics

Science  28 Jan 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5709, pp. 538-544
DOI: 10.1126/science.1104274

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Abstract

Research on fluorescent semiconductor nanocrystals (also known as quantum dots or qdots) has evolved over the past two decades from electronic materials science to biological applications. We review current approaches to the synthesis, solubilization, and functionalization of qdots and their applications to cell and animal biology. Recent examples of their experimental use include the observation of diffusion of individual glycine receptors in living neurons and the identification of lymph nodes in live animals by near-infrared emission during surgery. The new generations of qdots have far-reaching potential for the study of intracellular processes at the single-molecule level, high-resolution cellular imaging, long-term in vivo observation of cell trafficking, tumor targeting, and diagnostics.

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