Biotech, Biomaterials and Biomedical: TechConnect Briefs 2015Biotech, Biomaterials and Biomedical TechConnect Briefs 2015

Sensors, Diagnostics & Imaging Chapter 3

Cellular Delivery Modalities for Semiconductor Quantum Dots: A Comparative Analysis

L.D. Field
Naval Research Lab/ University of Maryland College Park, United States

pp. 121 - 123

Keywords: quantum dots, electroporation, microinjection

Fluorescence continues to be one of the most useful tools employed by life scientists to visualize cellular processes. Semiconductor nanocrystals or quantum dots (QDs) have been demonstrated to be superior alternatives to traditional fluorophores (dyes and fluorescent proteins) due to their size-tunable photoluminescence, nanoscale size which produces a high surface area to volume ratio, broad excitation profiles coupled with narrow emission spectra and resistance to photobleaching. The development of delivery modalities to introduce these nanoscale probes to discrete cellular locations with control continues to be an active area of research. These methods can range from passive uptake to facilitated delivery (using bioactive ligands such as peptides) to active manipulation of the cell (electroporation and microinjection). Each of these methods comes with inherent advantages and liabilities. Here, we have conducted a comparative study utilizing these various cellular delivery strategies to illustrate how a particular labeling/imaging application can be enabled and/or enhanced by choosing the optimal delivery strategy.