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Solubilization of Quantum Dots for Biological Applications

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Colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals, known as quantum dots (QDs), possess excellent fluorescence properties that are attractive in many biological applications. However, as QDs are mainly synthesized in an organic and hydrophobic environment, they are often insoluble in an aqueous, biological environment without any prior form of modification. Hydrophobic QDs can be rendered water-soluble via a variety of solubilization techniques. Ideally, these surface modification schemes should be easy, reliable, and reproducible, and at the same time, should not affect the colloidal and photophysical properties of the QDs. In addition, these schemes should also allow the covalent attachment of biological affinity tags for maximum in vitro and in vivo applications. This review will discuss and summarize the various routes via which QDs are solubilized and modified for biological applications, together with their advantages and disadvantages.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 01 October 2006

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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