Imaging dynamic cellular events with quantum dots The bright future

Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology.
Biochemist 06/2010; 32(3):12.
Source: PubMed


Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) are tiny light-emitting particles that have emerged as a new class of fluorescent labels for biology and medicine. Compared with traditional fluorescent probes, QDs have unique optical and electronic properties such as size-tuneable light emission, narrow and symmetric emission spectra, and broad absorption spectra that enable the simultaneous excitation of multiple fluorescence colours.

Download full-text


Available from: Shuming Nie, Feb 17, 2014
  • Source
    • "These QDs were susceptible to effective receptor-mediated endocytosis in cultured HeLa cells. Since these first demonstrations of QDs potential, their unique properties have been continuously optimized and applied in a plethora of bioapplications, ranging from fluorescent probes, biosensors to therapeutics and theranostic agents (Akerman et al., 2002; Smith et al., 2006; Li et al., 2009; Liu et al., 2010; Ruan et al., 2012; Singh et al., 2012). Once QDs that show paramount optical properties are those synthesized in organic media, numerous methods have been developed for creating hydrophilic QDs (Medintz et al., 2008). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the last 30 years we have assisted to a massive advance of nanomaterials in material science. Nanomaterials and structures, in addition to their small size, have properties that differ from those of larger bulk materials, making them ideal for a host of novel applications. The spread of nanotechnology in the last years has been due to the improvement of synthesis and characterization methods on the nanoscale, a field rich in new physical phenomena and synthetic opportunities. In fact, the development of functional nanoparticles has progressed exponentially over the past two decades. This work aims to extensively review 30 years of different strategies of surface modification and functionalization of noble metal (gold) nanoparticles, magnetic nanocrystals and semiconductor nanoparticles, such as quantum dots. The aim of this review is not only to provide in-depth insights into the different biofunctionalization and characterization methods, but also to give an overview of possibilities and limitations of the available nanoparticles.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Frontiers in Chemistry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Magnetite/gold (Fe(3)O(4)/Au) hybrid nanoparticles were synthesized from a single iron precursor (ferric chloride) through a green chemistry route using grape seed proanthocyanidin as the reducing agent. Structural and physicochemical characterization proved the nanohybrid to be crystalline, with spherical morphology and size ~35 nm. Magnetic resonance imaging and magnetization studies revealed that the Fe(3)O(4) component of the hybrid provided superparamagnetism, with dark T(2) contrast and high relaxivity (124.2 ± 3.02 mM(-1) s(-1)). Phantom computed tomographic imaging demonstrated good X-ray contrast, which can be attributed to the presence of the nanogold component in the hybrid. Considering the potential application of this bimodal nanoconstruct for stem cell tracking and imaging, we have conducted compatibility studies on human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hMSCs), wherein cell viability, apoptosis, and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation due to the particle-cell interaction were asessed. It was noted that the material showed good biocompatibility even for high concentrations of 500 μg/mL and up to 48 h incubation, with no apoptotic signals or ROS generation. Cellular uptake of the nanomaterial was visualized using confocal microscopy and prussian blue staining. The presence of the nanohybrids were clearly visualized in the intracytoplasmic region of the cell, which is desirable for efficient imaging of stem cells in addition to the cytocompatible nature of the hybrids. Our work is a good demonstrative example of the use of green aqueous chemistry through the employment of phytochemicals for the room temperature synthesis of complex hybrid nanomaterials with multimodal functionalities.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2011 · ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Single-molecule imaging is an important tool for understanding the mechanisms of biomolecular function and for visualizing the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of molecular behaviors that underlie cellular biology (1-4). To image an individual molecule of interest, it is typically conjugated to a fluorescent tag (dye, protein, bead, or quantum dot) and observed with epifluorescence or total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. While dyes and fluorescent proteins have been the mainstay of fluorescence imaging for decades, their fluorescence is unstable under high photon fluxes necessary to observe individual molecules, yielding only a few seconds of observation before complete loss of signal. Latex beads and dye-labeled beads provide improved signal stability but at the expense of drastically larger hydrodynamic size, which can deleteriously alter the diffusion and behavior of the molecule under study. Quantum dots (QDs) offer a balance between these two problematic regimes. These nanoparticles are composed of semiconductor materials and can be engineered with a hydrodynamically compact size with exceptional resistance to photodegradation (5). Thus in recent years QDs have been instrumental in enabling long-term observation of complex macromolecular behavior on the single molecule level. However these particles have still been found to exhibit impaired diffusion in crowded molecular environments such as the cellular cytoplasm and the neuronal synaptic cleft, where their sizes are still too large (4,6,7). Recently we have engineered the cores and surface coatings of QDs for minimized hydrodynamic size, while balancing offsets to colloidal stability, photostability, brightness, and nonspecific binding that have hindered the utility of compact QDs in the past (8,9). The goal of this article is to demonstrate the synthesis, modification, and characterization of these optimized nanocrystals, composed of an alloyed HgxCd1-xSe core coated with an insulating CdyZn1-yS shell, further coated with a multidentate polymer ligand modified with short polyethylene glycol (PEG) chains (Figure 1). Compared with conventional CdSe nanocrystals, HgxCd1-xSe alloys offer greater quantum yields of fluorescence, fluorescence at red and near-infrared wavelengths for enhanced signal-to-noise in cells, and excitation at non-cytotoxic visible wavelengths. Multidentate polymer coatings bind to the nanocrystal surface in a closed and flat conformation to minimize hydrodynamic size, and PEG neutralizes the surface charge to minimize nonspecific binding to cells and biomolecules. The end result is a brightly fluorescent nanocrystal with emission between 550-800 nm and a total hydrodynamic size near 12 nm. This is in the same size range as many soluble globular proteins in cells, and substantially smaller than conventional PEGylated QDs (25-35 nm).
    No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Journal of Visualized Experiments
Show more