Multiplexed, phenotypic, intravital cytometric imaging requires novel fluorophore conjugates that have an appropriate size for long circulation and diffusion and show virtually no nonspecific binding to cells/serum while binding to cells of interest with high specificity. In addition, these conjugates must be stable and maintain a high quantum yield in the in vivo environments. Here, we show that this can be achieved using compact (∼15 nm in hydrodynamic diameter) and biocompatible quantum dot (QD) -Ab conjugates. We developed these conjugates by coupling whole mAbs to QDs coated with norbornene-displaying polyimidazole ligands using tetrazine -norbornene cycloaddition. Our QD immunoconstructs were used for in vivo single-cell labeling in bone marrow. The intravital imaging studies using a chronic calvarial bone window showed that our QD-Ab conjugates diffuse into the entire bone marrow and efficiently label single cells belonging to rare populations of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (Sca1+c-Kit+ cells). This in vivo cytometric technique may be useful in a wide range of structural and functional imaging to study the interactions between cells and between a cell and its environment in intact and diseased tissues. quantum dots in vivo imaging single cell imaging in vivo cytometry multiphoton microscopy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Feb 3 2015|
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