Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open AccessMultiplexed living cells stained with quantum dot bioprobes for multiplexed detection of single-cell array
The results of quantum dot (QD) probe preparation for multiplexed single-cell array staining and analysis are reported. By controlling the reaction temperature, time, and ratio of Cd to Se, multicolor CdSe QDs emitting fluorescence ranging from purple to red in a safer, simpler, and more convenient way than traditional methods is obtained. To detect cells using these oil-soluble QDs, they are first coated with water-soluble thioglycolic aid (TGA) so that biocompatible multiwavelength bioprobes can be obtained. QDs’ surface is somewhat damaged when binding TGA to QDs is found, which results in a reduction of QDs’ emission wavelength and a slight blue shift of QDs’ emission wavelength after water-soluble modification with TGA. Comparison of the emission spectrum showed that it is negligible, and the fluorescent properties of QDs capped by TGA are still satisfactory. Living cells are then stained with multiplexed probes by conjugating TGA-QDs with antibodies specific to these cell antigens. Changes in fluorescence intensity can indicate change in the relative quantity of antigens expressed in the same cell caused by external stimulus, offering effective methods to multiplexed optical analysis of single cells.