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Monovalent, reduced-size quantum dots for imaging receptors on living cells.

We describe a method to generate monovalent quantum dots (QDs) using agarose gel electrophoresis. We passivated QDs with a carboxy-terminated polyethylene-glycol ligand, yielding particles with half the diameter of commercial QDs, which we conjugated to a single copy of a high-affinity targeting moiety (monovalent streptavidin or antibody to carcinoembryonic antigen) to label cell-surface proteins. The small size improved access of QD-labeled glutamate receptors to neuronal synapses, and monovalency prevented EphA3 tyrosine kinase activation.

Pubmed ID: 18425138


  • Howarth M
  • Liu W
  • Puthenveetil S
  • Zheng Y
  • Marshall LF
  • Schmidt MM
  • Wittrup KD
  • Bawendi MG
  • Ting AY


Nature methods

Publication Data

May 30, 2008

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: CA101830
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: P20GM072029-01
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM072670
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM072670-01
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: T32 GM008334

Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  • Cell Survival
  • Cells
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Ligands
  • Nanotechnology
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Quantum Dots
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Glutamate
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Streptavidin
  • Synapses