Monday, December 16, 2013

Single Molecule Applications of Quantum Dots

Thomas E. Rasmussen, Liselotte Jauffred, Jonathan Brewer, Stefan Vogel, Esben R. Torbensen, B. Christoffer Lagerholm, Lene Oddershede, Eva C. Arnspang

Fluorescent nanocrystals composed of semiconductor materials were first introduced for biological applications in the late 1990s. The focus of this review is to give a brief survey of biological applications of quantum dots (QDs) at the single QD sensitivity level. These are described as follows: 1) QD blinking and bleaching statistics, 2) the use of QDs in high speed single particle tracking with a special focus on how to design the biofunctional coatings of QDs which enable specific targeting to single proteins or lipids of interest, 3) a hybrid lipid-DNA analogue binding QDs which allows for tracking single lipids in lipid bilayers, 4) two-photon fluorescence correlation spectroscopy of QDs and 5) optical trapping and excitation of single QDs. In all of these applications, the focus is on the single particle sensitivity level of QDs. The high applicability of QDs in live cell imaging experiments held together with the prospects in localization microscopy and single molecule manipulation experiments gave QDs a promising future in single molecule research.

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