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Issue 20, 2011
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Conjugation of quantum dots with graphene for fluorescence imaging of live cells

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Abstract

It is difficult to achieve fluorescent graphene-quantum dots (QDs) conjugation because graphene quenches the fluorescence of the QDs. In the present study, the conjugation of graphene (reduced graphene oxide, RGO) with QDs via a bridge of bovine serum albumin (BSA) provides a novel highly fluorescent nano probe for the first time. BSA capped QDs are firmly grafted onto polyethylenimine (PEI)/poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) (PSS) coated RGO (graphene-QDs) via electrostatic layer by layer assembly. The strong luminescence of the graphene-QDs provides a potential for non-invasive optical in vitro imaging. The graphene-QDs are used for in vitro imaging of live human carcinoma (Hela) cells. Graphene-QDs could be readily up-taken by Hela cells in the absence of specific targeting molecules, e.g., antibodies or folic acid, and no in vitro cytotoxicity is observed at 360 μg mL−1 of the graphene-QDs. The results for the imaging of live cells indicated that the cell-penetrating graphene-QDs could be a promising nano probe for intracellular imaging and therapeutic applications.

Graphical abstract: Conjugation of quantum dots with graphene for fluorescence imaging of live cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Jun 2011, accepted on 11 Jul 2011 and first published on 30 Aug 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1AN15474E
Citation: Analyst, 2011,136, 4277-4283
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    Conjugation of quantum dots with graphene for fluorescence imaging of live cells

    M. Chen, J. Liu, B. Hu, M. Chen and J. Wang, Analyst, 2011, 136, 4277
    DOI: 10.1039/C1AN15474E

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