Review: Biofunctionalized Quantum Dots in Biology and Medicine
Quantum dot (QD) nanocrystals which have important optical properties, in particular, the wavelength of their fluorescence, depend strongly on their size. Colloidal QDs once dispersed in a solvent are quite interesting fluorescence probes for all types of labelling studies because of their reduced tendency to photo bleach. In this review, we will give an overview on how QDs have been used so far in cell biology. In particular, we will discuss the biologically relevant properties of QDs and focus on four topics: labeling of cellular structures and receptors with QDs, incorporation of QDs by living cells, tracking the path and the fate of individual cells using QD labels, and QDs as contrast agents. QDs are seen to be much better in terms of efficacy over radioisotopes in tracing medicine in vivo. They are rapidly being applied to existing and emerging technologies but here this review deals with a comprehensive compilation of the biological relevance of quantum dots. It covers important information from 1999 till 2008 with few from 1982 to 1997.