Investigating the Dynamics of Cellular Processes at the Single Molecule Level with Semiconductor Quantum Dots
The unique optical properties of semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) make them a powerful tool for ultrasensitive biological detection. Thanks to their large extinction coefficient and photostability, QDs can be detected at the single molecule level with high signal-to-noise ratio. This enables new experiments in which individual QD-labeled biomolecules are tracked with nanometer accuracy as they move in their natural cellular habitats. The ability to observe single biomolecules is essential to account for the stochastic nature of biological processes and to obtain information that remains elusive for biochemical, genetic, and conventional imaging methods. In living cells, single QD imaging has already been used to unravel the diffusion properties of membrane receptors as well as to analyze the motion of intracellular molecular motors. When combined with new optical and biochemical techniques, QDs will contribute to advanced biological imaging at the molecular scale and allow new studies on the dynamics of cellular processes.
KeywordsSingle Molecule Point Spread Function Glycine Receptor Single Molecule Level Single Molecule Experiment
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Bonneau, S., Cohen, L., Dahan, M., 2004. A multiple target approach for single quantum dot tracking, Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Biological Imaging (ISBI 2004), p. 664.Google Scholar
- Chen, F., Gerion, D., 2004. Fluorescent CdSe/ZnS nanocrystal-peptide conjugates for long-term, nontoxic imaging and nuclear targeting in living cells. NanoLett 4, 1827–1832.Google Scholar
- Courty, S., Luccardini, C., Bellaiche, Y., Cappello, G., Dahan, M., 2006. Tracking individual kinesin motors in living cells using single quantum dot imaging. NanoLett 6, 1491–1495.Google Scholar
- Howard, J., 2001. Mechanics of motor proteins and the cytoskeleton, Sinauer.Google Scholar
- Iino, R., Koyama, I., Kusumi, A., 2001. Single molecule imaging of green fluorescent proteins in living cells, E-cadherin forms oligomers on the free cell surface. Biophys J 80, 2667–2677Google Scholar
- Kim, S., Lim, Y.T., Soltesz, E.G., De Grand, A.M., Lee, J., Nakayama A., Parker, J.A., Mihaljevic, T., Laurence, R.G., Dor, D.M., Cohn, L.H., Bawendi, M.G., Frangioni, J.V., 2004. Near-infrared fluorescent type II quantum dots for sentinel lymph node mapping. Nat Biotechnol 22, 93–97.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar