Quantum Dots for Biomedicine

A.L. Huston, J.B. Delehanty and I.L. Medintz

Luminescent nanoparticles, tuned to link up with specific biomolecules, are making inroads in a range of biomedical applications, from sensing neurotoxins to exploring the cell.

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For decades, a variety of biomedical-optics applications—such as clinical diagnostic assays, biosensors and nanoscopic probes for monitoring cellular and subcelluar activity—have relied on organic fluorescent dyes. These fluorophores can be readily modified to reactive versions that can be tied to specific functional proteins, peptides, and cell membranes and organelles, to drive a range of imaging and diagnostic techniques.

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