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Quantum Dots Combined with Nanogold to Detect the Delivery Routes of Particles into Cells

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Quantum dots (QDs) hold remarkable optical characteristics as a consequence of their nanometer length scale. They uniquely feature bright, photostable, tunable and narrow fluorescence emissions, as well as broad absorption spectra. In this paper, we describe a platform for using quantum dots to investigate drug and gene delivery routes instead of the conventional fluorophores or radiolabels. We used quantum dots as markers for phagokinetic tracks to determine the delivery routes and motility of BHK cells. Quantum dots were uptake by cells easily through endocytosis. We could clearly differentiate the QDs outside the cell or inside the cell by quenching the QDs with similar sized gold nanoparticles and reduce the noise of fluorescent image. Experimental results have also shown that QDs are homogeneously distributed within the whole cell except for the nucleus after endocytosis. QDs could not penetrate the nuclear membrane and move into the nucleus. Coupling the QDs with Nuclear Localization Signal (NLS) can enhance the translocation amount of QDs into the cell and cell nucleus. This method combined with biocompatible quantum dots and microscopy imaging system can visualize the particle delivery routes and provide more information in the drug/gene delivery and tumor diagnosis.
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Keywords: DRUG/GENE DELIVERY; GOLD NANOPARTICLES; NUCLEAR LOCALIZATION SEQUENCE; QUANTUM DOTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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  • Bionanoscience attempts to harness various functions of biological macromolecules and integrate them with engineering for technological applications. It is based on a bottom-up approach and encompasses structural biology, biomacromolecular engineering, material science, and engineering, extending the horizon of material science. The journal aims at publication of (i) Letters (ii) Reviews (3) Concepts (4) Rapid communications (5) Research papers (6) Book reviews (7) Conference announcements in the interface between chemistry, physics, biology, material science, and technology. The use of biological macromolecules as sensors, biomaterials, information storage devices, biomolecular arrays, molecular machines is significantly increasing. The traditional disciplines of chemistry, physics, and biology are overlapping and coalescing with nanoscale science and technology. Currently research in this area is scattered in different journals and this journal seeks to bring them under a single umbrella to ensure highest quality peer-reviewed research for rapid dissemination in areas that are in the forefront of science and technology which is witnessing phenomenal and accelerated growth.
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