Live cell imaging using CdSe/CdS/ZnS quantum rods (QRs) as targeted optical probes is reported. The QRs, synthesized in organic media using a binary surfactant mixture, were dispersed in aqueous media using mercaptoundecanoic acid (MUA) and lysine. Transferrin (Tf) was linked to the QRs to produce QR-Tf bioconjugates that were used for targeted in vitro delivery to a human cancer cell line. Confocal and two-photon imaging were used to confirm receptor-mediated uptake of QR-Tf conjugates into the HeLa cells, which overexpress the transferrin receptor (TfR). Uptake was not observed with QRs that lacked Tf functionalization or with cells that were presaturated with free Tf and then treated with Tf-functionalized QRs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Materials Science
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Chemistry (miscellaneous)