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Liposome Delivery of Quantum Dots to the Cytosol of Live Cells

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Abstract:

An increasing number of studies have demonstrated the multiple advantages of using nanocrystals, such as Quantum dots, for biological imaging. Quantum dots functionalized with biomolecules on their surfaces were shown to be able to bind to specific extracellular targets via specific recognition and to be internalized inside the cells, thereby allowing the imaging of intracellular pathways. However, the use of Quantum dots for live tracking of intracellular molecules is relatively limited because of the difficulties encountered during the induction of Quantum dots across living cell membranes. In this study we show that cationic liposomes can deliver low concentrations of non-targeted Quantum dots into the cytosol of living cells via a lipid-mediated fusion with the cell membrane. The intracellular Quantum dots exhibit aggregation that appears dependent upon their concentration, but does not visibly affect cell viability. Our results point towards the use of cationic liposomes as an effective delivery system for targeted Quantum dots within the cell cytosol, which would facilitate live cell imaging of the labeled molecules.

Keywords: LIPOSOMES; LIVE CELLS; QUANTUM DOTS (QDOTS)

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2008.185

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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