Quantum dots in diagnostics and detection: principles and paradigms
Quantum dots are semiconductor nanocrystals that exhibit exceptional optical and electrical behaviors not found in their bulk counterparts. Following seminal work in the development of water-soluble quantum dots in the late 1990's, researchers have sought to develop interesting and novel ways of exploiting the extraordinary properties of quantum dots for biomedical applications. Since that time, over 10 000 articles have been published related to the use of quantum dots in biomedicine, many of which regard their use in detection and diagnostic bioassays. This review presents a didactic overview of fundamental physical phenomena associated with quantum dots and paradigm examples of how these phenomena can and have been readily exploited for manifold uses in nanobiotechnology with a specific focus on their implementation in in vitro diagnostic assays and biodetection.