We have applied quantum dot (Qdot) antibody conjugates as a biomolecular probe for cellular proteins important in biogeochemical cycling in the sea. Conventional immunological methods have been hampered by the strong autofluorescence found in cyanobacteria cells. Qdot conjugates provide an ideal alternative for studies that require long-term imaging of cells such as detection of low abundance cellular antigens by fluorescence microscopy. The advantage of Qdot labeled probes over conventional immunological methods is the photostability of the probe. Phycoerythrin bleaches in cyanobacterial cells under prolonged UV or blue light excitation, which means that the semiconducting nanocrystal probe, the Qdot, can yield a strong fluorescent signal without interference from cellular pigments.
Orcutt, K. M.,
(2009). Detecting Proteins in Highly Autofluorescent Cells Using Quantum Dot Antibody Conjugates. Sensors, 9(9), 7540-7549.
Available at: http://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/1131