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J Biol Inorg Chem. 2006 Jul;11(5):663-9. Epub 2006 May 25.

Imaging Escherichia coli using functionalized core/shell CdSe/CdS quantum dots.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9510, USA.


The internalization of a series of water-soluble CdSe/CdS quantum dots (QDs) stabilized by citrate, isocitrate, succinate, and malate by Escherichia coli is established by epifluorescence and confocal fluorescence scanning microscopy, fluorimetry, and UV-vis spectroscopy on whole and lysed bacterial cells. The organic-acid-stabilized QDs span a range in size from 3.8+/-1.1 to 6.0+/-2.4 nm with emission wavelengths from 540 to 630 nm. QDs of different sizes (i.e., 3.8-6 nm) can enter the bacterium and be detected on different fluorescence channels with little interference from other QDs as a result of the distinct emission profiles (i.e., 540-630 nm, respectively). Costaining QD-labeled E. coli with 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride (DAPI) demonstrates that the QDs and DAPI are colocalized within E. coli, whereas costaining QD-labeled E. coli with membrane dye FM4-64 shows that the FM4-64 is localized in the outer bacterial membrane and that the QDs are inside.

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