Quantum dots (QDs) are new generation of fluorophores with superior optical properties. For biological applications of QDs, proper surface modification and further conjugation with biomolecules are necessary to make these nanocrystals biocompatible as well as target-recognizable. Preparation of QDs bioconjugates was reviewed in this paper to demonstrate general strategies in the bioconjugation of QDs and typical QDs bioconjugates including QDs conjugated with peptides, proteins or oligonucleotides were introduced. Recent examples on the applications of QDs bioconjugates for sensitive detection of biomolecules such as nucleic acids or proteins were reviewed. QDs bioconjugates used in cell labeling and trafficking, in detection of subcellular molecules and in imaging protein dynamics in live cells were also reviewed with an emphasis on current work reported in the past two years. Latest progress on the application of QDs bioconjugates for in vivo imaging was briefly covered and perspective on QDs bioconjugates and their applications in bioimaging was discussed with related to the issues to be addressed in future QDs applications.
Keywords: Quantum dots (QDs), molecular imaging, peptide, protein, oligonucleotide, fluorescence
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