Controlling the reactivity of ampiphilic quantum dots in biological assays through hydrophobic assembly of custom PEG derivatives.

Warnement MR, Tomlinson ID, Chang JC, Schreuder MA, Luckabaugh CM, Rosenthal SJ
Bioconjug Chem. 2008 19 (7): 1404-13

PMID: 18529022 · DOI:10.1021/bc800104n

Modifications of the quantum dot (QD) surface are routinely performed via covalent biomolecule attachment, and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) derivatization has previously been shown to limit nonspecific cellular interactions of QD probes. Attempts to functionalize ampiphilic QDs (AMP-QDs) with custom PEG derivatives having a hydrophobic terminus resulted in self-assembly of these PEG ligands to the AMP-QD surface in the absence of covalent coupling reagents. We demonstrate, via electrophoretic characterization techniques, that these self-assembled PEG-QDs exhibit improved passivation in biological environments and are less susceptible to unwanted protein adsorption to the QD surface. We highlight the artifactual fluorescent response protein adsorption can cause in biological assays, and discuss considerations for improved small molecule presentation to facilitate specific QD interactions.

MeSH Terms (16)

Adsorption Animals Artifacts Biological Assay Cattle Cell Line Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel Endosomes Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions Ligands Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Microscopy, Fluorescence Polyethylene Glycols Quantum Dots Serum Albumin, Bovine Surface Properties

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