Luminescent quantum dots as advanced biological labels

Warren C.W. Chan, Shuming Nie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The development of optical-detection labels has substantially impacted many areas of biomedical research such as high-throughput drug screening, clinical diagnostics, and in vivo monitoring of gene expression and enzyme activity. These probes are traditionally based on organic dyes conjugated to biomolecules. Because of their complex molecular structures, however, organic fluorophores often exhibit unfavorable absorption and emission properties such as photobleaching, environmental quenching, broad and asymmetric emission spectra, and the inability to excite more than two to three colors at a single wavelength. These problems can be overcome by exploiting the unique optical properties of metal and semiconductor nanoparticles. In fact, recent research by several groups has linked such nanoparticles to peptides, proteins, and DNA and has demonstrated their applications in assembling new materials, in homogeneous bioassays, and in multicolor fluorescence imaging and detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiomedical Photonics
Subtitle of host publicationHandbook
PublisherCRC Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780203008997
ISBN (Print)0849311160, 9780849311161
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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