Bioluminescent Quantum Dots

David Evanko

Bioluminescence is widely used for in vivo imaging of nude mice. By conjugating luciferase protein to quantum dots, bio- luminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) turns these useful fluorophores into a new class of bioluminescent probe.

… When injected into mice, these bioluminescent quantum dot conjugates produced good signals with no background after injection of the luciferase substrate coelenterazine into the bloodstream.

… The properties of these conjugates should make them suitable for use with animals larger than mice, and Rao says they are testing these conjugates for use for functional imaging in vivo. Gambhir says that these probes will allow multiplexing so that multiple events can be monitored in the same living subject. They are also exploring ways to exploit modulation of the BRET signal to detect enzyme or protein function.

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