Quantum dots-based probes conjugated to Annexin V for photostable apoptosis detection and imaging

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Quantum dots (Qdots) are nanoparticles exhibiting fluorescent properties that are widely applied for cell staining. We present here the development of quantum dots for specific targeting of apoptotic cells, for both apoptosis detection and staining of apoptotic"living" cells. These Qdots are functionalized with Annexin V, a 35-kDa protein that specifically interacts with the membrane of apoptotic cells: Annexin V recognizes and binds to phosphatidylserine (PS) moieties which are present on the outer membrane of apoptotic cells and not on this of healthy or necrotic cells. By using Annexin V, our Qdots probes are made specific for apoptotic cells. For that purpose, Qdots Streptavidin Conjugates are coupled to biotinylated Annexin V. Staining of apoptotic cells was checked using fluorescence and confocal microscopy techniques on nonfixed cells. It is shown here that Qdots are insensitive to bleaching after prolonged and frequent exposure as opposed to organic dyes and this makes them excellent candidates for time-lapse imaging purposes. We illustrate the application of our Qdots-based probes to continuously follow fast changes occurring on the membrane of apoptotic cells.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationColloidal Quantum Dots for Biomedical Applications III
Subtitle of host publicationSPIE BIOS, 19-24 January 2008 San Jose, California, United States
EditorsMarek Osinski, Thomas M. Jovin, Kenji Yamamoto
ISBN (Print)9780819470416
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventColloidal Quantum Dots for Biomedical Applications III 2008 - San Jose, United States
Duration: 19 Jan 200821 Jan 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceColloidal Quantum Dots for Biomedical Applications III 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose


  • Apoptosis
  • Nanotechnology
  • Photostability
  • Quantum dots
  • Real-time imaging
  • Time-lapse imaging


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