Quantum-dot/dopamine bioconjugates function as redox coupled assemblies for in vitro and intracellular pH sensing.
ABSTRACT The use of semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) for bioimaging and sensing has progressively matured over the past decade. QDs are highly sensitive to charge-transfer processes, which can alter their optical properties. Here, we demonstrate that QD-dopamine-peptide bioconjugates can function as charge-transfer coupled pH sensors. Dopamine is normally characterized by two intrinsic redox properties: a Nernstian dependence of formal potential on pH and oxidation of hydroquinone to quinone by O(2) at basic pH. We show that the latter quinone can function as an electron acceptor quenching QD photoluminescence in a manner that depends directly on pH. We characterize the pH-dependent QD quenching using both electrochemistry and spectroscopy. QD-dopamine conjugates were also used as pH sensors that measured changes in cytoplasmic pH as cells underwent drug-induced alkalosis. A detailed mechanism describing the QD quenching processes that is consistent with dopamine's inherent redox chemistry is presented.
Article: Terbium to quantum dot FRET bioconjugates for clinical diagnostics: influence of human plasma on optical and assembly properties.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) from luminescent terbium complexes (LTC) as donors to semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) as acceptors allows extraordinary large FRET efficiencies due to the long Förster distances afforded. Moreover, time-gated detection permits an efficient suppression of autofluorescent background leading to sub-picomolar detection limits even within multiplexed detection formats. These characteristics make FRET-systems with LTC and QDs excellent candidates for clinical diagnostics. So far, such proofs of principle for highly sensitive multiplexed biosensing have only been performed under optimized buffer conditions and interactions between real-life clinical media such as human serum or plasma and LTC-QD-FRET-systems have not yet been taken into account. Here we present an extensive spectroscopic analysis of absorption, excitation and emission spectra along with the luminescence decay times of both the single components as well as the assembled FRET-systems in TRIS-buffer, TRIS-buffer with 2% bovine serum albumin, and fresh human plasma. Moreover, we evaluated homogeneous LTC-QD FRET assays in QD conjugates assembled with either the well-known, specific biotin-streptavidin biological interaction or, alternatively, the metal-affinity coordination of histidine to zinc. In the case of conjugates assembled with biotin-streptavidin no significant interference with the optical and binding properties occurs whereas the histidine-zinc system appears to be affected by human plasma.Sensors 01/2011; 11(10):9667-84. · 1.74 Impact Factor
Article: The state of nanoparticle-based nanoscience and biotechnology: progress, promises, and challenges.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Colloidal nanoparticles (NPs) have become versatile building blocks in a wide variety of fields. Here, we discuss the state-of-the-art, current hot topics, and future directions based on the following aspects: narrow size-distribution NPs can exhibit protein-like properties; monodispersity of NPs is not always required; assembled NPs can exhibit collective behavior; NPs can be assembled one by one; there is more to be connected with NPs; NPs can be designed to be smart; surface-modified NPs can directly reach the cytosols of living cells.ACS Nano 09/2012; 6(10):8468-83. · 10.77 Impact Factor