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Proceedings Paper

Development and characterization of silk fibroin coated quantum dots
Author(s): B. B. Nathwani; C. Needham; A. B. Mathur; K E. Meissner
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Paper Abstract

Recent progress in the field of semiconductor nanocrystals or Quantum Dots (QDs) has seen them find wider acceptance as a tool in biomedical research labs. As produced, high quality QDs, synthesized by high temperature organometallic synthesis, are coated with a hydrophobic ligand. Therefore, they must be further processed to be soluble in water and to be made biocompatible. To accomplish this, the QDs are generally coated with a synthetic polymer (eg. block copolymers) or the hydrophobic surface ligands exchanged with hydrophilic material (eg. thiols). Advances in this area have enabled the QDs to experience a smooth transition from being simple inorganic fluorophores to being smart sensors, which can identify specific cell marker proteins and help in diagnosis of diseases such as cancer. In order to improve the biocompatibility and utility of the QDs, we report the development of a procedure to coat QDs with silk fibroin, a fibrous crystalline protein extracted from Bombyx Mori silkworm. Following the coating process, we characterize the size, quantum yield and two-photon absorption cross section of the silk coated QDs. Additionally, the results of biocompatibility studies carried out to compare the properties of these QD-silks with conventional QDs are presented. These natural polymer coatings on QDs could enhance the intracellular delivery and enable the use of these nanocrystals as an imaging tool for studying subcellular machinery at the molecular level.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 March 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6866, Colloidal Quantum Dots for Biomedical Applications III, 686607 (13 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.764061
Show Author Affiliations
B. B. Nathwani, M.D. Anderson Cancer Ctr. (United States)
Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
C. Needham, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
A. B. Mathur, M.D. Anderson Cancer Ctr. (United States)
K E. Meissner, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6866:
Colloidal Quantum Dots for Biomedical Applications III
Marek Osinski; Thomas M. Jovin; Kenji Yamamoto, Editor(s)

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