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Carboxyl-Functionalized and Bio-Conjugated Silica-Coated Quantum Dots as Targeting Probes for Cell Imaging

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We report the synthesis of carboxyl-functionalized silica-coated CdSe/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) via a reverse microemulsion approach. This facile method does not need to change the solvent phase of the nanoparticles during the synthesis process, and requires no other reaction condition such as high temperature or inertia atmosphere. The synthesized nanoparticles have many advantages, such as mono-dispersed and stable in aqueous solution, minimal non-specific targeting, and more direct and cost-effective for bio-conjugation. The carboxyl functionalized nanoparticles were further conjugated with apo-transferrin for receptor-mediated targeting in cancer cell lines. In vitro experiments have revealed that the cellular uptake of Tf-conjugated nanoparticles was significantly higher than that of (only-)carboxyl functionalized nanoparticles in HeLa cells, which are well known to over-express the transferrin-receptor. The bio-conjugated nanoparticles are potentially useful as efficient probes for bio-diagnosis, both in vitro and in vivo.
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Keywords: BIO-CONJUGATION; CARBOXYL; CELL IMAGING; QUANTUM DOTS; SILICA-COATED; TRANSFERRIN

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-03-01

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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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