Stable, compact, bright biofunctional quantum dots with improved peptide coating

Jianmin Xu, Piotr Ruchala, Yuval Ebenstain, J. Jack Li, Shimon Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We developed a new peptide, natural phytochelatin (PC), which tightly binds to CdSe/ZnS quantum dots' (QDs) surfaces and renders them water-soluble. Coating QDs with this flexible and all-hydrophilic peptide offers high colloidal stability, adds only 0.8-0.9 nm to the radius of the particles (as compared to their original inorganic radius), preserves very high quantum yield (QY) in water, and affords facile bioconjugation with various functional groups. We demonstrate specific targeting (with minimal nonspecific binding) of such fluorescein-conjugated QDs to ScFv-fused mouse prion protein expressed in live N2A cells. We also demonstrated homogeneous in vivo biodistribution with no significant toxicity in live zebrafish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11370-11378
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number36
StatePublished - 13 Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


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