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Nat Mater. 2003 Sep;2(9):630-8. Epub 2003 Aug 24.

Self-assembled nanoscale biosensors based on quantum dot FRET donors.

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Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering, Code 6910, US Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375, USA.


The potential of luminescent semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) to enable development of hybrid inorganic-bioreceptor sensing materials has remained largely unrealized. We report the design, formation and testing of QD-protein assemblies that function as chemical sensors. In these assemblies, multiple copies of Escherichia coli maltose-binding protein (MBP) coordinate to each QD by a C-terminal oligohistidine segment and function as sugar receptors. Sensors are self-assembled in solution in a controllable manner. In one configuration, a beta-cyclodextrin-QSY9 dark quencher conjugate bound in the MBP saccharide binding site results in fluorescence resonance energy-transfer (FRET) quenching of QD photoluminescence. Added maltose displaces the beta-cyclodextrin-QSY9, and QD photoluminescence increases in a systematic manner. A second maltose sensor assembly consists of QDs coupled with Cy3-labelled MBP bound to beta-cyclodextrin-Cy3.5. In this case, the QD donor drives sensor function through a two-step FRET mechanism that overcomes inherent QD donor-acceptor distance limitations. Quantum dot-biomolecule assemblies constructed using these methods may facilitate development of new hybrid sensing materials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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