Annexin-V/quantum dot probes for multimodal apoptosis monitoring in living cells: improving bioanalysis using electrochemistry†
There is a great demand to develop novel techniques that allow useful and complete monitoring of apoptosis, which is a key factor of several diseases and a target for drug development. Here, we present the use of a novel dual electrochemical/optical label for the detection and study of apoptosis. We combined the specificity of Annexin-V for phosphatidylserine, a phospholipid expressed in the outer membrane of apoptotic cells, with the optical and electrochemical properties of quantum dots to create a more efficient label. Using this conjugate we addressed three important issues: (i) we made the labeling of apoptotic cells faster (30 min) and easier; (ii) we fully characterized the samples by common cell biological techniques (confocal laser scanning microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and flow cytometry); and (iii) we developed a fast, cheap and quantitative electrochemical detection method for apoptotic cells with results in full agreement with those obtained by flow cytometry.