Quantum Dots (QDs) are a new class of semiconductor nanoparticulate luminophores, which are actively researched for novel applications in biology and nanomedicine. In this review, the recent progress in the design and applications of QD labels for in vitro and in vivo imaging of cells is presented. Surface chemical engineering of hydrophobic QDs is required to render them water soluble and biocompatible. Further surface modification and attachment of bioactive molecules to the surface of QDs, such as peptides, aptamers, or antibodies are intensively explored for targeted imaging of living cells, and disease states in animals. Specially designed surface coatings can drastically decrease nonspecific interactions between QDs and cells, minimize degradation of QDs under in vivo physiological conditions, reduce the cytotoxicity of QDs, and prolong circulation lifetimes in animals. New generations of QD probes are also promising for imaging cellular processes at the single-molecule level. Ultimately, QDs as components of complex therapeutic nanosystems are poised to contribute significantly to the field of personalized medicine.
|Title of host publication||Nanotechnology in Regenerative Medicine: methods and protocols|
|Editors||Melba Navarro, Josep A. Planell|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
|Name||Methods in molecular biology|