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Nat Biotechnol. 2003 Jan;21(1):47-51. Epub 2002 Dec 2.

Long-term multiple color imaging of live cells using quantum dot bioconjugates.

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  • 1The Rockefeller University, Box 304, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Luminescent quantum dots (QDs)--semiconductor nanocrystals--are a promising alternative to organic dyes for fluorescence-based applications. We have developed procedures for using QDs to label live cells and have demonstrated their use for long-term multicolor imaging of live cells. The two approaches presented are (i) endocytic uptake of QDs and (ii) selective labeling of cell surface proteins with QDs conjugated to antibodies. Live cells labeled using these approaches were used for long-term multicolor imaging. The cells remained stably labeled for over a week as they grew and developed. These approaches should permit the simultaneous study of multiple cells over long periods of time as they proceed through growth and development.

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