Semiconductor quantum dots are inorganic nanoparticles with unique photophysical properties. In particular, their huge one- and two-photon absorption cross sections, tunable emission bands and excellent photobleaching resistances are stimulating the development of luminescent probes for biomedical imaging and sensing applications. Indeed, electron and energy transfer processes can be designed to switch the luminescence of semiconductor quantum dots in response to molecular recognition events. On the basis of these operating principles, the presence of target analytes can be transduced into detectable luminescence signals. In fact, luminescent chemosensors based on semiconductor quantum dots are starting to be developed to detect small molecules, monitor DNA hybridization, assess protein-ligand complementarities, test enzymatic activity and probe pH distributions. Although fundamental research is still very much needed to understand further the fundamental factors regulating the behavior of these systems and refine their performance, it is becoming apparent that sensitive probes based on semiconductor quantum dots will become invaluable analytical tools for a diversity of applications in biomedical research.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry