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Questions on Bio-tagging with Quantum Dots

  1. Apr 30, 2003 #1
    I am studying quantum dots and their applications. I have recently come across some papers describing how researchers have performed cellular imaging using quantum dots. Not that this is a new concept... it's been around since the early '90s... it's just that this is a new area for me. I haven't taken biology since high school.

    Anyway, I was wondering how one goes about conjugating the quantum dots to biomolecules, and how one determines which of these biomolecular conjugates will stick to the biomolecules one wishes to study.

    Or, if any of you know something about traditional methods immunofluorescent labeling, maybe you could tell me how these dyes are selected?

    I understand how the physics of the physics of the emission processes. What I don't understand is science (or art?) of staining specific organic assays.


  2. jcsd
  3. May 1, 2003 #2
    From what I know, depending on the conditions you're doing your experiment under, you either can attach the quantum dot directly to the biological material of interest (I think this is a relatively recent development), or more commonly, (from what I know) you basically put the dot into a microsphere and then attach that to the biological material at hand. The latter method is more robust as I understand things. Basically, it's organic chemistry to couple the dot or dot/microsphere to the biological material - I would suspect any papers would have to include where they got the detailed procedure.

    As for deciding what dots/dyes to tag to what, I would think that would depend on what you were interested in finding out about the biological system at hand. I would think that if you wanted to see if two types of proteins/biological materials were interacting, you'd want to tag them with a distinctively colored tag (so if you suspected protein A interacted with protein B, it might be good to tag one with a red tag and one with a blue tag so they wouldn't overlap too much).

    I realize this really hasn't been all that detailed, but am hoping it gives a little kick to your thought processes. Basically it's just organic chemistry for the service of the greater good. ;)
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