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      In Vivo Imaging of Quantum Dots Encapsulated in Phospholipid Micelles

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          Abstract

          Fluorescent semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum dots) have the potential to revolutionize biological imaging, but their use has been limited by difficulties in obtaining nanocrystals that are biocompatible. To address this problem, we encapsulated individual nanocrystals in phospholipid block–copolymer micelles and demonstrated both in vitro and in vivo imaging. When conjugated to DNA, the nanocrystal-micelles acted as in vitro fluorescent probes to hybridize to specific complementary sequences. Moreover, when injected into Xenopus embryos, the nanocrystal-micelles were stable, nontoxic (<5 × 10 9 nanocrystals per cell), cell autonomous, and slow to photobleach. Nanocrystal fluorescence could be followed to the tadpole stage, allowing lineage-tracing experiments in embryogenesis.

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          Semiconductor Clusters, Nanocrystals, and Quantum Dots

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            A DNA-based method for rationally assembling nanoparticles into macroscopic materials.

            Colloidal particles of metals and semiconductors have potentially useful optical, optoelectronic and material properties that derive from their small (nanoscopic) size. These properties might lead to applications including chemical sensors, spectroscopic enhancers, quantum dot and nanostructure fabrication, and microimaging methods. A great deal of control can now be exercised over the chemical composition, size and polydispersity of colloidal particles, and many methods have been developed for assembling them into useful aggregates and materials. Here we describe a method for assembling colloidal gold nanoparticles rationally and reversibly into macroscopic aggregates. The method involves attaching to the surfaces of two batches of 13-nm gold particles non-complementary DNA oligonucleotides capped with thiol groups, which bind to gold. When we add to the solution an oligonucleotide duplex with 'sticky ends' that are complementary to the two grafted sequences, the nanoparticles self-assemble into aggregates. This assembly process can be reversed by thermal denaturation. This strategy should now make it possible to tailor the optical, electronic and structural properties of the colloidal aggregates by using the specificity of DNA interactions to direct the interactions between particles of different size and composition.
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              Semiconductor nanocrystals as fluorescent biological labels.

              Semiconductor nanocrystals were prepared for use as fluorescent probes in biological staining and diagnostics. Compared with conventional fluorophores, the nanocrystals have a narrow, tunable, symmetric emission spectrum and are photochemically stable. The advantages of the broad, continuous excitation spectrum were demonstrated in a dual-emission, single-excitation labeling experiment on mouse fibroblasts. These nanocrystal probes are thus complementary and in some cases may be superior to existing fluorophores.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Science
                Science
                American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
                0036-8075
                1095-9203
                November 29 2002
                November 29 2002
                : 298
                : 5599
                : 1759-1762
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Center for Studies in Physics and Biology,
                [2 ]NEC Research Institute, 4 Independence Way, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA.
                [3 ]Laboratory of Molecular Embryology, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.
                [4 ]Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota, 421 Washington Avenue SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.
                Article
                10.1126/science.1077194
                12459582
                83cfba4d-0ce5-4f48-8787-7d88c68627cb
                © 2002
                History

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